Zara Nelsova: The Cello Queen | Documents 600475

Zara Nelsova: The Cello Queen


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Label: Documents

Cat No: 600475

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 10

Release Date: 31st August 2018



Zara Nelsova (1918-2006) was the first woman ever to become famous internationally as a cello soloist. The audience was fascinated by this extraordinary artist and the wonderful sound of her Stradivari cello, the “Marquis de Corbon” from 1726.

Her wide-ranging repertoire included Bach and Beethoven as well as composers of the 20th century. Ernest Bloch dedicated his works to her and accompanied her on piano, Samuel Barber conducted his Cello Concerto with her as a soloist, both of which can be heard in recordings on this CD box. Three “cellists of the century” had assisted her with help and advice in the beginnings of her career: Emanuel Feuermann, Pablo Casals, and Gregor Piatigorsky.

Born into a music-loving Russian family, which had immigrated to Canada - her grandfather was an opera singer, her father a flautist - the cello was the only instrument which remained for her, as her two older sisters had already decided on violin and piano. Together they founded the “Canadian Trio” and played many successful concerts from 1929 to 1939. Zara Nelsova gave her first concert as a soloist in New York in 1942. In 1958 she made her debut with the Philharmonic in Berlin under Karl Böhm, performing the Cello Concerto by Saint-Saëns, followed in Munich with Günter Wand and Schumann’s Op.129 in 1969.

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