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Fournier, Pierre (Léon Marie)

Fournier, Pierre (Léon Marie)

Fournier, Pierre (Léon Marie), famous French cellist; b. Paris, June 24, 1906; d. Geneva, Jan. 8, 1986. He first studied piano with his mother. Stricken by polio at age 9, he turned to the cello, studying with Paul Bazelaire and Andre Hekking at the Paris Cons., and at the Ecole Normale de Musique. He made his debut in 1925 and subsequently appeared both as a soloist with orchs. and as a chamber music artist; taught at the Paris Cons. (1941–49). After World War II, he made major tours throughout the world; he appeared regularly in the U.S. from 1948. He was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1953, and in 1963 was promoted to Officier. In 1970 he settled in Switzerland, where he gave master classes. He was renowned for his elegant tone and impeccable musicianship; his repertoire was comprehensive, ranging from Bach to contemporary music. Several composers wrote works for him; he gave first performances of works by Roussel, Martin, Poulenc, and Martinů.

Bibliography

B. Gavoty, P. F. (Geneva, 1957); A. Hughes, P. F.: Cellist in a Landscape With Figures (Aldershot, 1998).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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