Italy mourns premier cellist, 80

Francesco Strano, principal cello of the I Musici ensemble from 1968 to 2006, has died in Rome at the age of 80.

His students at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia will play at his funeral today.

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  • Not only was Francesco an exceptional ‘cellist and part of I Musici for 38 years but also as chamber musician playing with the likes of Serkin and Carmirelli, and much loved teacher at both the Conservatorio and Academia di Santa Cecilia. He had a great gift for friendship and it was my greatest luck to have his irreplaceable friendship for 46 years. I will miss him always and my heart goes out to his wife Marion and son Antonino.

  • Sad news indeed. I Musici was a wonderful ensemble and left us a fine legacy of recordings. No sign of period instruments and performances though, which may to some be a bad thing and others a good thing. But they were very versatile in choice of repertoire and the quality of their recordings was excellent – Philips at its best. I do hope that they will soon be the subject of a huge box set of their recordings, which I for one would buy.

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