In Friday’s (2/26) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin reports, “David Soyer, the founding cellist of the Guarneri String Quartet and a link to the legendary cellists Pablo Casals and Emanuel Feuermann, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 87. …Mr. Soyer was the elder statesman when he and three other men about a dozen years younger—the violinists Arnold Steinhardt and John Dalley and the violist Michael Tree—formed a quartet at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont in 1964. For the next 37 years they played together, a remarkable record of longevity for a string quartet, in which tensions over music making, money and personal differences often cause breakups. The Guarneri became one of the world’s best-known quartets, setting a standard in quartetistry with seamless, warm and impassioned playing and a unanimity that did not efface individual personalities. Mr. Soyer retired in 2001, making a handoff to his student Peter Wiley in a concert at Carnegie Hall. …Last May Mr. Soyer reappeared for another Schubert quintet performance at the Guarneri’s last concert in New York City, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The ensemble retired as a whole, playing its final concerts this season.”

Posted March 1, 2010