Popper, David

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POPPER, DAVID (1843–1913), cellist and composer. Popper, son of a cantor, studied the violin at the Prague Conservatory but because of a shortage of cello students, he changed to cello and became a pupil of Julius Goltermann. At the age of 18 he was appointed assistant principal cellist of the Löwenberg Court Orchestra and at the age of 20 became famous as a concert artist after his first tour of Germany in 1863. From 1868 to 1873 he was first cellist at the Vienna Opera and the Vienna po (the youngest player to hold such a post) and became a member of the Hubay Quartet. After 1896 he was professor at the Budapest Conservatory. He composed more than 75 works, including many solos for cello, which won favor among cellists. Among his compositions are four concertos for cello and orchestra (op. 8, 1871; op. 24, 1880; op. 59, 1880; op. 72, 1900); Requiem, op. 66 (1892); String Quartet, op. 74 (1905); and his manual Hohe Schule des Violoncellspiels, c. 1901 (a set of 40 studies that examine the positions of the left hand within a highly chromatic, Wagner-influenced setting) which remains in use until today.


Grove Online; S. De'ak, David Popper (1980).

[Israela Stein (2nd ed.)]

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