Film maker Christopher Nupen shares his treasured handwritten letter from cellist Jacqueline du Pré


Photo: Christopher Nupen


The following extract is from The Strad’s October 2021 issue  feature ‘Golden Girl: Nupen and du Pré’. To read it in full, click here  to subscribe and login. The October 2021 digital magazine  and print edition  are on sale now

Here are the words that she herself chose to use 46 years ago about Zukerman and the portrait film we had just made with him (Pinchas Zukerman: Here to Make Music, 1975) in a letter she wrote to me when her handwriting was still as solid as an oak tree:

Dearest Friend,

When I saw your film of Pinky the other day, his playing – golden playing, sound and cherished character made that hour one to be held in one’s head for always. However, what I want to tell you is, that to me the film is YOU. That you are the house which holds those qualities and keeps them shining and gleaming within it, and afterwards invites one to love what is in it. Hence the present, with the just described message within it, and why it is what it is. All this is a bit inarticulate, but I hope you can understand a bit from it.

It comes with much love,

from Smiley


Photo: Christopher Nupen

The stone that du Pré sent to Nupen as a gift accompanying the letter above

Read: Great Cellists: Jacqueline du Pré

Read: Long read: Remembering Jacqueline du Pré

Read: Pinchas Zukerman and Zubin Mehta remember Jacqueline du Pré