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Today’s Memory – Guilhermina Suggia

27 - Guilhermina-Suggia-1885-1950

Guilhermina Suggia

27 June 1885, Porto – 30 July 1950, Porto


Guilhermina Augusta Xavier de Medim Suggia Carteado Mena was a Portuguese cellist.

She studied in Paris with Pablo Casals; she bequeathed an important British scholarship for young cellists, which has been granted to performers including Rohan de Saram, Jacqueline du Pré, Robert Cohen and Steven Isserlis and built an international reputation.

Max Bruch – Kol Nidrei Guilhermina Suggia Cello, (recorded in 1927)

From 1906 to 1912 she lived and worked in Paris with the cellist Pablo Casals. It was generally believed, incorrectly, that the two were married, and Suggia was sometimes billed as Mme P. Casals-Suggia. She began to tour internationally, building her reputation. She and Casals were rated as the world’s leading cellists. Casals was close friends with composer Donald Tovey, who wrote his Sonata for two cellos for the pair.

Gabriel Fauré – Sicilienne Guilhermina Suggia Cello, Reginald Paul Piano

In 1914 she formed a trio with the violinist Jelly d’Arányi and the pianist Fanny Davies. Suggia made a small number of gramophone recordings. They include Haydn’s D major Concerto with John Barbirolli and Saint-Saëns’s A minor Concerto with Lawrence Collingwood.

Joseph Haydn – Cello Concerto in D Guilhermina Suggia Cello, John Barbirolli Conductor (recorded in 1928)

Her last concert was in 1949, the year before her death.

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Giovanni Battista Sammartini – Sonate-Allegro Guilhermina Suggia Cello, George Reeves Piano


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