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Jacqueline Du Pré

Biography

Born: January 26, 1945; Oxford, England   Died: October 19, 1987; London, England  
Her story is one of the most legendary of all twentieth century musicians' stories, and also, one of the most tragic. Cellist Jacqueline Du Pré, born on January 26, 1945, in Oxford, England, to Derek and Iris Du Pré. (Despite the family name, Derek Du Pré was not French, but rather of British Channel Island ancestry; he could trace his lineage back to the Norman Conquest). She blossomed young and achieved international fame in a few short years Read more during the mid-1960s, during which same time she joined Daniel Barenboim in one of history's most celebrated musical marriages. But her career was shattered in the early 1970s -- not even a decade into its maturity -- by multiple sclerosis.

It was through her mother Iris, a pianist and teacher, that young Jacqueline was first introduced to music. She was given a cello at age four, began lessons with Alison Dalrymple at the London Violoncello School some months later, and by age ten was studying with William Pleeth, eventually enrolling as his student at London's Guildhall School of Music. While at Guildhall she was the recipient of virtually all the school's internal awards and recognitions, meanwhile taking lessons with Pablo Casals in Switzerland and Paul Tortelier in Paris. Graduating from Guildhall in 1960, she began to make her first true professional appearances, appearing with the BBC Orchestra in 1961 and performing the Elgar concerto at Wigmore Hall in London that same year, playing on a 1672 Antonio Stradivarius cello presented to her by an anonymous patron. Further concert appearances and, in particular, a series of recordings quickly established her as the premiere young cellist of her generation, and, in many minds, the premiere British-born performer to have appeared in many generations.

In 1964, she was given the Davidoff Stradivarius (now in the possession of Yo-Yo Ma), and it was with this instrument that she made her Carnegie Hall debut on May 14, 1965. She engaged in further studies with Mstislav Rostropovich around that same time, even taking the final examination at the Moscow Conservatory in 1966 -- the same year she met Daniel Barenboim, whom she married the following June. Du Pré's personal and professional relationship with Barenboim opened up whole new opportunities for chamber music experience, and her collaborations with such up-and-coming luminaries as Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman sold thousands of both recordings and tickets (and, eventually, videos).

In 1971, Du Pré began to feel that all was not well with her body and, thus, her playing, and she took the entirety of the following year off. In 1973 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and, except for a pair of performances that year and some sonata recordings (Chopin and Franck), her career as a performer was over. She remained active as a teacher, however, for many years afterwards. In 1976, she was awarded the O.B.E., and in 1982 she was named Musician of the Year by the Incorporated Society of Musicians. She passed away on October 19, 1987, at the age of 42.

Jacqueline Du Pré's physical gift for her instrument was prodigious; but it was her sheer joy in music making that endeared her to the world's audiences. Although some found her physical involvement during performance distasteful, few could find reason to complain about the sonic result. The scintillating, rapturous tone she produced was positively intoxicating, and remains so today through recordings. Her renditions of the Elgar and Dvorák concertos, and of the Schumann concerto, are especially beloved. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 73 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Daniel Barenboim: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 938424 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Jacqueline Du Pré
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 2.
    Schumann: Cello Concerto; Brahms: Piano Concerto No 1 / Du Pre, Gelber
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95622 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Bruno-Leonardo Gelber
    Conductor:  Gerd Albrecht
    CD: $14.99
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  • 3.
    Essential 20th Century Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 234372 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Cécile Ousset,  Peter Donohoe,  Stomu Yamashta  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Simon Rattle,  Yuri Temirkanov,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Modern
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  • 4.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 79914 Release Date: 11/19/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jake Heggie,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Joyce DiDonato,  Philippe Jaroussky,  Rachel Frenkel  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Marco Armiliato,  Patrick Summers,  Jean-Christophe Spinosi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Matheus,  English Concert,  tenThing (Brass Ensemble)  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 5.
    Essential British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40306 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Susan Graham,  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Maurice André,  Jane Parker-Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Alexander Briger,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Emmanuelle Haïm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
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  • 6.
    Elgar: Cello Concerto; Sea Pictures; Cockaigne Overture
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 23075 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Dame Janet Baker
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
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  • 7.
    Beethoven: Piano Trios; Violin & Cello Sonatas / Du Pre, Zukerman, Barenboim
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 04434 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Daniel Barenboim
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  • 8.
    Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2; Beethoven: Clarinet Trio / Du Pre, Peyer, Barenboim
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 636466 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gervase de Peyer,  Daniel Barenboim,  Jacqueline Du Pré
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  • 9.
    100 Best British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27315 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Thomas Tallis,  John Goss,  Charles Villiers Stanford  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Hugh Bean,  Gerald Moore,  Dame Janet Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 10.
    50 Best British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27359 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Thomas Tallis,  John Goss,  Charles Villiers Stanford  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Cleobury,  Thomas Williamson,  Sir David Willcocks,  Peter Stevens  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Philip Ledger,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Wallace Collection (Brass Ensemble)
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  • 11.
    Elgar: Cello Concerto; Sea Pictures; Delius: Cello Concerto; Songs Of Farewell / Du Pre, Barbirolli, Sargent
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55905 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frederick Delius,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Dame Janet Baker
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Choral Society
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 12.
    Jacqueline Du Pre - The Complete EMI Recordings [17-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 91934 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Frederick Delius,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Daniel Barenboim,  Gerald Moore,  Ernest Lush  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Daniel Barenboim,  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    The Sound Of Jacqueline Du Pre
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 91975 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Robert Schumann,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Daniel Barenboim,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Stephen Kovacevich  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 14.
    Delius - 150th Anniversary Edition [18-CDs]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 0841752 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Frederick Delius
    Performer:  Piers Lane,  John Noble,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Yehudi Menuhin  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Vernon Handley,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Hallé Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    British Composers - Barbirolli Conducts Elgar
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 95444 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Jacqueline Du Pré
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Allegri String Quartet,  Sinfonia of London  ... 
    On sale! $34.99
    CD: $32.99
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  • 16.
    Best Beethoven 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48445 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  James Morris,  Josef Suk,  Claudio Arrau,  Emil Gilels  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Kurt Sanderling,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Nash Ensemble
    CD: $11.99
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  • 17.
    Best Cello 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31659 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Mathias Georg Monn,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Pablo Casals,  Paul Tortelier,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Lynn Harrell  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Christopher Warren-Green,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Iona Brown  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Chamber Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 18.
    Essential Relaxing Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27930 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Cécile Ousset,  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Hugh Bean  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Alberto Lysy,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 19.
    50 Best Relaxing Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57547 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet,  Gabriel Fauré,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Kalafusz,  Stephen Farr,  Han-Na Chang,  Jacqueline Du Pré  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Sir Neville Marriner,  David Hill,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra Wind and Brass Ensemble
    CD: $11.99
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  • 20.
    Elgar: Cello Concerto, Sea Pictures / Du Pre, Baker, Barbirolli
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65932 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Unspecified,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Jacqueline Du Pré
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
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  • 21.
    Essential Adagios
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 88576 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Jules Massenet,  Joaquin Rodrigo  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Alexeev,  Hans Kalafusz,  Julian Bream,  Han-Na Chang  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 22.
    Essential Cello
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 88582 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Luigi Boccherini  ... 
    Performer:  Han-Na Chang,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Steven Isserlis,  Maggie Cole  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Juha Kangas,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra members
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  • 23.
    Take 2 - Elgar: Cello Concerto, Etc / Du Pre, Ormandy, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 63247 Release Date: 09/14/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Pinchas Zukerman
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Daniel Barenboim,  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 24.
    Best Cello 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64275 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georg Matthias Monn,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Pablo Casals,  Paul Tortelier,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Lynn Harrell  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Christopher Warren-Green,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Iona Brown  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Linde Consort,  Nash Ensemble,  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic
    CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    100 Best 20th Century Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64249 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  György Ligeti,  John Adams,  George Gershwin,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  Wayne Marshall,  Ralph Kirshbaum,  Tasmin Little,  Simon Haram  ... 
    Conductor:  None,  Simon Rattle,  Leonard Slatkin,  Christopher Warren-Green  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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