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Popper, David

David Popper is the king of the cello. Sadly, most people do not realize this. The accessible details about Popper's biography are limited. His date of birth indicates three separate days. His father was the rabbi of the Jewish religion, and his brothers all had music lessons. David Popper became a principal cellist in the court orchestra after his studies, while Julius Goltermann became one of the most excellent musicians of his day. Hans von Bülow proposed at the age of 25 that he take over the role of principal cellist of both the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera. Popper was the first to perform the first notes played officially when the Ring opera house opened, and he even persuaded the ensemble to debut Bruckner's Third Symphony, which a number of the participants initially deemed to be unplayable. Popper met Brahms, Bruckner, Grieg, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Volkmann, Wagner, and they all knew and admired him. He performed in so many concerts that he had to leave his orchestra work. A famous David Popper married the Liszt student Sophie Menter. 

Franz Liszt hired him as a professor in his recently established academy in Budapest. Following his musical success, he started a career as a teacher that is still unmatched today. Many more cellists today learned from him, and his cellist legacy is expanding across the globe. These are known to be his 65 etudes and yet take a solitary role in their pedagogic merit and prominence. This was followed by creating the Hubay-Popper-Quartet, which would become one of the most refined chamber ensembles of its day. Brahms performed for the patrons daily, and they thus dubbed him as the only artistic universal genius. However, he was still mostly obscure, being (after Liszt) his only focus in existence was music. We have a touching biography of his pupil Stephen De'ak, a piece of evidence that leads to other outlets. David Popper, the charming bon vivant, died on 7 August 1913 in Baden Bei Wien. The artist seemingly wanted little excuse to be buried in Dresden. He has left 76 numbered works, all of which are not yet recognized by many.

Cello Compositions of David Popper | Animato Strings


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