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Cello Birthdays – 5 August


Leonardo Leo (Lionardo Oronzo Salvatore de Leo)

(5 August 1694 – 31 October 1744)

Italian cellist, composer, and organist

Leonardo Leo

Here are his six cello concertos performed by cellist Anner Bylsma with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra conducted by Jeanne Lamon:


Friedrich August Kummer

(5 August 1797 – 22 August 1879)

German cellist, composer, and pedagogue

Friedrich August Kummer

Here is the first movement of his Cello Duet Op. 22, No 1, played by cellists Hannah Holman and Ann Kim:



Hans Gál

(5 August 1890 – 3 October 1987)

Austrian-British composer, teacher, and author

Hans Gal

Photo by Berthold Bing – Israel National Library, Schwadron collection, CC BY 3.0.

Here is his Cello Concerto, Op. 67, performed by cellist Antonio Meneses with the Northern Sinfonia conducted by Claudio Cruz:


Betsy Jolas

Happy 95th birthday!

Franco-American composer

Betsy Jolas

Here is her “Scion” for unaccompanied cello (1973), performed by Anssi Karttunen:


Christopher Gunning

Happy birthday!

English composer of concert works and music for films and television

Christopher Gunning

Photo by Sl-Ziga. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Here is the first movement of his Cello Concerto: I. Waltz Memories, performed by cellist Richard Harwood with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer:


Eicca Toppinen (Eino Matti “Eicca” Toppinen)

Happy birthday!

Finnish cellist (in Apocalyptica), songwriter, producer, arranger, and drummer

Here is a short film of him:

Your Turn

Know of other cellists, cello makers, composers of music played by cellists, or those with a strong tie to the cello world born on this day? This is a work in progress. We’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions, additions, or corrections. Thank you!

We include those with recordings and/or images available online.