This biography of the cellist Jacqueline du Pre, who died in 1987 after a long struggle against multiple sclerosis, has been written with the full support of her husband, the musician and conductor Daniel Barenboim. At first sight it could be seen as something of a counterweight to books critical of Barenboim written by Du Pre's brother and sister--in particular A Genius in the Family
. But while Barenboim does present his side of the story--in relation to both du Pre's illness and the strains it put upon their marriage--Elizabeth Wilson has in fact presented a balanced portrait of du Pre not only as a woman but also as an artist. And this is the book's real strength.
Wilson, a cellist herself, knew du Pre in her playing days and has paid as much attention to the music as to the off-stage emotional dramas. Since she burst upon the music scene as a phenomenally talented 16-year-old, du Pre's fame and her tragic life story has made the task of stripping the myth from the reality no easy task. In fact Elizabeth Wilson has done a professional job in unravelling du Pre's enigmatic life and legacy, but most of all she reminds us that du Pre became famous in the first place because of her genius as a musician. --Nick Wroe
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Elizabeth Wilson was born in London, attended schools in England, China and the USA and studied cello at the Moscow Conservatoire with Mstislav Rostropovich between 1964 and 1971. She has combined careers as performer and teacher, playing with distinguished ensembles in Britain and Europe as well as devising and presenting radio and concert series on a range of Russian themes. In parallel with these activities, she also writes about music and musicians, including biographies of Jacqueline du Pre and Shostakovich. Her most recent book, Mstislav Rostropovich: Cellist, Teacher, Legend
was published by Faber in April 2007.