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London’s Royal Academy of Music (RAM) has announced that British cellist Hannah Roberts is to be the Jacqueline du Pré Professor of Cello. This is a new professorship, awarded with the blessing of the du Pré family, and honours du Pré’s enduring legacy while acknowledging Roberts’s achievements in music.
Roberts is a multiple prizewinner in competitions such as the Shell LSO, BBC Young Musician, Jacqueline du Pré Memorial and Pierre Fournier awards. She makes frequent broadcasts for BBC Radio, recording with renowned colleagues for ASV and Decca, and participating in numerous international festivals as both soloist and chamber musician.
Roberts’s principal teachers included Susannah Roberts, Ralph Kirshbaum and (like du Pré) William Pleeth. As a teacher herself, she has nurtured a number of today’s leading cellists on the international stage, including Academy alumnus Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
‘I am deeply grateful for the generosity of the du Pré family in allowing the Academy to celebrate Jackie with this new post for our distinguished cello professor, Hannah Roberts,’ said RAM principal Jonathan Freeman-Attwood. ‘Jackie is an iconic reference point for the artistic ambition to which we all aspire at the Academy. Generations of her family were students here, including Jackie’s mother, sister, niece and her sister’s husband, Christopher, whose father, Gerald Finzi, was professor of composition. One of Jackie’s closest links was, of course, through the Academy student and professor, Sir John Barbirolli, with whom was conceived that timeless testament to Elgar’s Cello Concerto.’
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