Jacqueline du Pre OBE

The late Jacqueline du Pré OBE, prolific cellist and recipient of the ISM’s Distinguished Musician Award in 1980, would have been 70 years old today.

At a young age, she achieved enduring mainstream popularity unusual for a classical performer. Despite her short career, she is regarded as one of the most uniquely talented cellists of the second half of the twentieth century.

Jacqueline is most famous for her iconic recording of Elgar's Cello Concerto in E Minor, her interpretation of which has been described as "definitive" and "legendary".

Her career was cut short by multiple sclerosis, which forced her to stop performing at the age of 28. She battled the illness for many years, which ultimately resulted in an untimely death.

To mark Jacqueline’s birthday, Wigmore Hall will be presenting the 20th Annual Jacqueline du Pré Charity Concert on 3 March at 7.30pm. The concert will feature the Navarra String Quartet and Sacconi Quartet, who will be joined by cellist Guy Johnston in a programme of Bridge, Ravel and Schubert and a world premiere of work 'March' by ISM member Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. This concert supports Britain’s oldest musical charity, The Royal Society of Musicians.

Also, Catherine Bott at Classic FM presented some of Jacqueline's greatest performances on air yesterday evening. You can listen back on the Classic FM website. They have also collated a gallery of Jacqueline’s most iconic photographs.

Jacqueline performing the first movement of Elgar's Cello Concerto in E Minor under Daniel Barenboim with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1967.