B1450. PAUL TORTELIER & DAVID BLUM. Paul Tortelier A Self-Portrait in Conversation with David Blum. London, Heinemann, 1984. 270pp. Index; Chronology; Compositions by Tortelier; Discography; Photos; DJ - 434-78860-0
Paul Tortelier, a French cellist known for his elegant, passionate playing and for his political idealism, spent most of his long career in Europe, where he was a professor at the Paris Conservatory, a busy soloist and an author. His master classes for the British Broadcasting Corporation attracted wide attention in 1964. Among his more notable pupils was the cellist Jacqueline du Pre. Mr. Tortelier, on the other hand, was busy in the United States both at the beginning and at the end of his musical life. In 1937, Serge Koussevitzky engaged him as a cellist for the Boston Symphony. From Boston he began an American solo career, including a 1938 Town Hall recital with the pianist Leonard Shure. A year later, Mr. Tortelier returned to France and remained. Early in the 1980's Mr. Tortelier returned to concerts in the United States, and after a 35-year absence he played in New York again.
Paul Tortelier was born in Paris in 1914 and won a first prize at the Paris Conservatory at the age of 16. His début came a year later at the Concerts Lamoureux. His international career had perhaps its biggest catalyst in 1947, when Sir Thomas Beecham invited him to play DON QUIXOTE for a Richard Strauss festival in London.
Mr. Tortelier acted out his beliefs, retreating temporarily from musical life in 1955 to spend a year on a kibbutz in Israel even though he was not himself Jewish. Mr. Tortelier married one of his pupils, Maud Martin, in 1946. They had three children, all professional musicians.
- Bernard Holland, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 20 Dec, 1990