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Posted 29 February 2016 - 01:29 AM
"Gwyneth George, the cellist, who has died aged 95, was heard in British concert halls during the 1960s and 1970s; she formed a successful partnership with the Argentinian pianist Alberto Portugheis and in 1979 gave the premiere of the Five Nocturnes and Cadenzas that were written for her by the Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott.
Her only commercial disc, of cello sonatas by Rachmaninov and Shostakovich accompanied by Portugheis for the Unicorn label in 1971, proved popular with Gramophone’s critic, who described the Shostakovich as “the most searching account of the work I have met on LP”.
She gave a number of successful recitals at London concert halls; after one, in 1961 when she was accompanied by Ernest Lush, a critic praised the “vitality and character in her cello playing”, noting the “valuable strength” of her tone. Meanwhile, her teaching career took her to London and Jamaica.
Gwyneth George was born on the Mumbles on May 27 1920, and was educated in Swansea. Her father was a businessman and amateur painter who travelled extensively, bringing back tales of distant lands that delighted Gwyneth and her younger sister, a talented violinist. Their mother was a pianist who formed a promising trio with her daughters but never fully accepted her younger daughter’s decision to stop playing the violin at a relatively young age.
Gwyneth studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and later won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where she was a student of Ivor James. During the Second World War she was drafted into a bomb-making factory near London, work that the peace-loving cellist disliked intensely."
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