RECENT: Defining Our Field - what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences? Read John Dante Prevedini's essay, watch the panel discussion and make your own comments.
'One of the greatest pleasures of music is to make other people listen to it; to feel, for just a moment, a tiny part of an ideal world in which everything is good, beautiful, harmony, love.' - Raphael Sommer
Cellist and teacher Raphael Sommer was born in Prague on 21 June 1937 and was one of the very few children to survive Terezin, protected by his concert pianist mother Alice Hertz Sommer. After the war, in Jerusalem, Alice taught and Raphael studied at the Rubin Academy. He discovered the cello at the age of eleven, took lessons with Paul Tortelier in Israel and won a scholarship to the Paris Conservatoire.
He gave recitals, won competitions, and was also gifted as a writer and speaker. In 1967 he began teaching, first running the cello department at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music and then becoming a professor at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The wish to share the love of and in music inspired Sommer and his wife, French cellist Geneviève Teulières, to create a music festival at Gex in eastern France.
Raphael Sommer died suddenly on 13 November 2001, whilst touring Israel with the Salomon Trio. Alice and Geneviève subsequently created the Raphael Sommer Music Scholarship in 2002, awarded annually to a talented young cellist.