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Cello Birthdays – 5 September


Johann Christian Bach

(5 September 1735 – 1 January 1782)

German composer, 18th child of Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Christian Bach, painted in London by Thomas Gainsborough, (National Portrait Gallery, London).

Johann Christian Bach, painted in London by Thomas Gainsborough, (National Portrait Gallery, London).

Here is his Sinfonia concertante for violin, cello, and orchestra W.C34 in A Major, recorded by violinist Anna McDonald, cellist Sebastian Comberti, and The Hanover Band conducted by Anthony Halstead:


Giacomo Meyerbeer

(5 September 1791 – 2 May 1864)

German opera composer

Giacomo Meyerbeer, engraving from a photograph by Pierre Petit (1865)

Here is the Grand Duo Concertant in E Major, B. 70, composed by Frédéric Chopin and Auguste Franchomme, based on Meyerbeer’s opera Robert le diable, performed by cellist Maurice Gendron and pianist Keiko Toyama:


Jefte Sbolci

(5 September 1833 – 7 December 1895)

Italian cellist, conductor, and cello professor

Jefte Sbolci


Amy Beach

(5 September 1867 – 27 December 1944)

American composer and pianist

Amy Beach

Photo in U.S. Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division.

Here is her Berceuse for Cello and Piano performed by cellist Cherylonda Fitzgerald and pianist Katherine Benson:


Karel Pravoslav Sádlo

(5 September 1898 – 24 August 1971)

Czech cellist and teacher

Karel Pravoslav Sadlo


Joaquín Nin-Culmell

(5 September 1908 – 14 January 2004)

Cuban-Spanish composer and concert pianist

Portrait of Joaquín Nin-Culmell, 1924, by Paul Swan.

Portrait of Joaquín Nin-Culmell, 1924, by Paul Swan.

Here is the first movement of his Suite per a Violoncel Sol recorded by cellist Svetlana Tovstukha:


John Cage

(5 September 1912 – 12 August 1992)

American composer, music theorist, artist, and philosopher

John Cage

Photo by Bogaerts, Rob / Anefo – Fotocollectie Anefo. Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, nummertoegang, bestanddeelnummer 934-2728., CC0.

Here is an excerpt of cellist Charlotte Moorman performing his “26 Minutes, one point, 1,499 seconds for a string player”:


Peter Racine Fricker

(5 September 1920 – 1 February 1990)

English composer who lived in the USA for the last 30 years of his life

Here is the “Very Fast” movement from his Sonata for Cello and Piano, recorded by cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and pianist John McCabe:


Freddie Mercury

(5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991)

British singer, pianist, songwriter, record producer, and the lead vocalist of Queen

Freddie Mercury

Photo by – FreddieMercurySinging21978.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Here is his “Love of My Life” performed by cellist Luka Šulić and Brian May of Queen:

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.

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