PEOPLE

Gemma Rosefield

Thursday, 07 November 2013

The UK cellist on her most inspirational teacher

Zara Nelsova was a dramatic force of nature who insisted on going for it in every performance

When I was eleven, I was introduced to an imposing, elderly lady, resplendent in a scarlet ball gown. It was Zara Nelsova. I met her again when I was 18, studying at the Royal Academy of Music and had lessons with her when she visited London. Later, I travelled to her home in New York to study with her.

It was an extraordinary opportunity to study with someone who had been taught by Feuermann, Casals and Piatigorsky. Zara had also collaborated closely with both Bloch and Barber, and her understanding of their musical ideas was invaluable. For her Zara, characterful playing, beauty of sound and the intentions of the composer – about which she was meticulous – were paramount. She was passionate about communicating with her audience, through her music making.

Zara was a dramatic force of nature and she insisted on ‘going for it’ in every performance.  She was also intensely human. She loved to gossip about clothes and make-up and would even call and ask me to bring her a certain lipstick from the UK. I loved the time I spent with this amazing and inspiring woman.

Originally published in The Strad, January 2011. Download the digital edition of the issue or subscribe to it as part of our 30-day free trial.

Photo: Marco Borggreve



Limited time only offer - 42% off
COMMENTS
comments

POST A COMMENT

Captcha
 
Cookie
viola stolen!
I had my viola stolen last week from Liverpool. Label has: Aubrey J. Tarr 1974...
violin blocks
I have an old unlabled violin and I have noticed 4 small blocks about5cm square...
violin left hand position
I have a new student , quite advanced, who has a 'double jointed' left thumb...
serene violin solo pre-1917
Hi folks. For a story I'm writing I'd like suggestions for the most serene and...
FOLLOW US
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • YouTube
    YouTube
  • Google+
    GooglePlus
THE STRAD'S NEWSLETTER

Reading The Strad puts you at the top of your game - Save 42% off a subscription today.

View
X