6 videos of Jacqueline du Pré as you’ve never seen her before

18 May 2015, 14:33 | Updated: 13 January 2017, 16:57

This year would have been the 70th birthday of the brilliant cellist. Here are some videos that remind us of her enchanting personality.

Jacqueline du Pré was one of the greatest cellists of all time. Her tragic illness and early death – at the age of just 42 – brought an end to one of the shortest but brightest careers the music world has ever seen.

Below are a series of videos of the great cellist, as you don't normally see her – backstage, messing around, joking with her colleagues – filmed by Christopher Nupen. 

You can see more of Christopher's work on his YouTube channel, Allegro Films – and there's a rare chance to catch a screening of his film The Trout, with an introduction by the film-maker himself, in the Royal Albert Hall's Elgar Room on 6 March. Find out more here. 

Swapping the cello for the violin

In this rarely seen backstage footage, Du Pré swaps instruments with violinist Itzhak Perlman – and they proceed to have a fair bash at playing them. With pretty hilarious results – we could be wrong, but we’re not sure that’s how you’re supposed to hold a violin.

Playing around on the piano

This black and white footage shows Du Pré messing around on the piano in a break during a recording session while chatting to pianist Daniel Barenboim, who later became her husband.

Cello… or bongos?

There’s a glimpse of Du Pré’s famous joie de vivre at the beginning of this clip, as she turns the cello into something more like a percussion instrument…

Jackie at home

Catch a clip of Du Pré singing to herself on a train journey as part of this documentary from 1967 – which also includes interviews with the great musician and her parents.

Turning her hand to the piano

Watched over by Barenboim, Du Pré turns her hand to the piano – and is amazing at it.

A glimpse into rehearsal

Four of the best classical musicians of all time rehearse Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet – Daniel Barenboim (piano), Itzhak Perlman (violin), Jacqueline du Pré (cello) and Zubin Mehta (double bass). An amazing moment in musical history.