CHOE, Minah

DMA University of Sydney 2016 Pages: 159

Pedagogy and performance practice of David Popper (1843-1913): An analysis of influence and legacy of Popper’s compositions in studio teaching

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David Popper was one of the most influential cellists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He had a successful career as an orchestral and chamber musician and gained fame as a virtuoso solo cellist undertaking extensive concert tours all over Europe for over 20 years. Then, in the final phase of his life he devoted himself to teaching at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. This study aims to examine the influence of Popper, his compositions and their aesthetic impact on cello playing and on today’s performers. It further and more particularly investigates Popper’s performance practice of shifting and rubato. The final part of the study includes interviews with current teachers at a number of institutions to understand the relevance of Popper’s aesthetic paradigm, how Popper is taught today and how his pedagogical principles may continue to promote a tradition of expressive and virtuosic cello playing to date.

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