Jacqueline du Pré was born on January 26, 1945, and she was a British cellist. In as much as her career did not last long enough, she is regarded as one of the greatest cellists of all time. Jacqueline du Pré was born in Oxford, England and her parents are Iris Greep and Derek du Pré.
When Jacqueline du Pré was just four years old, she was said to have been enthused about the sound of the cello on the radio and asked her mom for one. At age 5, she was enrolled at the London Violoncello School. She also enrolled at Commonweal Lodge and in 1956 when she was just 11 years old, she won the Guilhermina Suggia Award.
Her tuition at the Guildhall School of Music in London, and for private lessons with the celebrated cellist William Pleeth was financed by the Suggia Award.
Jacqueline du Pré served as a secretary of the Institute of Cost and Works Accounting in 1958 when her family moved to London.
Later in January 1959, she attended Queen’s College but she had to be withdrawn as her performance was not the best. She took part in local music competitions and won some of them. She made appearances at children’s and young musicians’ concerts in 1959.
She was on BBC Television and played the Lalo Cello Concerto. She was again at the Lalo concerto with the BBC Welsh Orchestra in Cardiff. She also recorded the Haydn Cello Concerto at the BBC Lime Grove Studios with the Royal Philharmonic.
Jacqueline du Pré won the Gold Medal of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1960. In the same year, she also took part in a Pablo Casals masterclass in Zermatt, Switzerland. She competed in the Queen’s Prize competition for outstanding musicians under 30 and won.
Jacqueline du Pré Cause of Death
Jacqueline du Pré was reported dead in London on October 19, 1987. She was 42 years old at the time of her death. Jacqueline du Pré was buried in Golders Green Jewish Cemetery.
Later in 2021, actress Miriam Margolyes claimed in her memoir that Jacqueline du Pré died as a result of assisted suicide.
According to her, the therapist of Jacqueline du Pré, Margaret Branch, told her that she assisted the suicide via lethal injection.
Marriage and Illness
Jacqueline du Pré got married to conductor Daniel Barenboim on June 15, 1967, after they had met in London on Christmas Eve 1966.
Jacqueline du Pré flew with Daniel Barenboim to Jerusalem where she converted to Judaism.
With the passage of time, she started losing sensitivity in her fingers and other parts of her body. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in October 1973.
She was absent between 1971 and 1972 but in 1973, she started performing again. Her condition became worse.