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Cellist Pierre Fournier, 79, Dies; Famed for Bach, Brahms Pieces

January 12, 1986|Associated Press

GENEVA — Pierre Fournier, the eminent French cellist known for his renditions of works by Bach and Brahms, died at his Geneva home Wednesday, his son said. He was 79.

Fournier suffered a stroke last November and returned home recently from a 10-day hospital stay, said his son, Jean Fonda.

Fonda, a pianist who took the different last name for artistic reasons, said his father gave his last public concert at Aldbrough, England, last year. He said he accompanied his father in almost 400 concerts and they made a joint recording last year of Brahms sonatas.

Fournier, the son of a French army general, was born in Paris. He taught at the Paris Ecole Normale de Musique and later taught cello classes at the French National Conservatory.

After World War II, he made many international concert tours, playing with the world's leading orchestras. He became especially popular for his renditions of works by Bach, Brahms and Dvorak.

Frank Martin, Bohuslav Martinu and Francis Poulenc were among internationally known composers who wrote pieces specifically for Fournier. He also composed several works of his own.

He is survived by his wife and his son. A Roman Catholic funeral service was scheduled for Friday in Geneva's Notre Dame Church.

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