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Cello Birthdays – 9 October


Johann Wilhelm Hertel

(9 October 1727 – 14 June 1789)

German composer, violinist, and harpsichordist

Here is the first movement of his Cello Concerto in a minor, recorded by cellist Bettina Messerschmidt with the Merseburger Hofmusik conducted by Michael Schönheit:


Max Seifriz

(9 October 1827 — 20 December 1885)

German composer

Max Seifriz

Cellist David Popper played his violin fantasy.


Camille Saint-Saëns

(9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921)

French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist

Camille Saint-Saëns

Photo by Nadar

Here is the 2nd movement of his Cello Concerto No. 2 in d minor, Op. 119, performed by cellist Sol Gabetta and the Konzerthaus Orchester:

Here are some Saint-Saëns editions available from Dr. Yuriy Leonovich:


Jesús Castillo

(9 October 1877 – 23 April 1926)

 Guatemalan composer and collector of Guatemalan folk music

Jesús Castillo

Here is his “Scherzo” performed by the GuateCellos:


Jānis Mediņš

(9 October 1890 – 4 March 1966)

Latvian composer, professor, cellist, violinist, and pianist

Jānis Mediņš in 1920

Jānis Mediņš in 1920

Here is his Cello Concerto No. 2 in d minor (1947) recorded by cellist Inguns Naruns and conductor Harry John Brown and an unnamed orchestra:


Jānis Ivanovs

(9 October 1906 – 27 March 1983)

 Latvian and Soviet composer and professor

Jānis Ivanovs

Here is his Cello Concerto in b minor recorded by cellist Ernests Bertovskis with the Latvian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edgars Tons:


Roger Goeb

(9 October 1914 – 3 January 1997)

American composer

Here is his Concertante No. 2 for Solo Cello and Strings (1950) recorded 12 February 1959 by cellist Richard Kay with the American Virtuosi conducted by Mishel Piastro:


Einojuhani Rautavaara

(9 October 1928 – 27 July 2016)

Finnish composer

Einojuhani Rautavaara

Einojuhani Rautavaara in the 1950s

Here is his Sonata for solo cello (1969), performed by cellist David Pereira:


John Lennon

(9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980)

English singer, songwriter, guitarist, peace activist, and one of the founders of the Beatles

John Lennon 1969

John Lennon, 1969.

Here is a cello cover of his “Imagine” played by cellist Luka Sulic:


Roberto Sierra

Happy birthday!

Puerto Rican composer

Roberto Sierra

Here is his “La memorial” for unaccompanied cello, recorded by Matt Haimovitz:


Jonathan May

(9 October 1958 – 27 February 2010)

American cellist, conductor, and founder of youth orchestras and music programs


J. Mark Scearce

Happy birthday!

American composer

J. Mark Scearce

Here is his “Squaring the Circle” performed by clarinetist Chris Grymes and cellist James Kim:

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.