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Curtis Mourns the Loss of David Soyer

Curtis cello faculty member David Soyer passed away peacefully in his home on Thursday night, of heart failure. He was eighty-seven years old.

Mr. Soyer was a founding member of the Guarneri String Quartet, which he formed with Curtis alumni Arnold Steinhardt, John Dalley, and Michael Tree while the four were spending the summer of 1964 at the Marlboro Festival and School. Mr. Soyer joined Curtis’s faculty in 1968, and in that role influenced two generations of superb cellists— including current faculty member Peter Wiley, who succeeded him as the cellist of the Guarneri in 2001.

Mr. Soyer was a teacher and player of remarkable gifts, whose presence in the music world was unique and irreplaceable. At Curtis, he held the Orlando Cole Chair in Cello Studies, named in honor of another distinguished Curtis faculty member who passed away this year.

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Soyer studied with Diran Alexanian, Emanuel Feuermann, and Pablo Casals. In addition to teaching at Curtis for more than forty years, he was a faculty member of the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, and he received honorary doctorates from the University of Southern Florida and State University of New York at Binghamton

Mr. Soyer will be remembered with great respect and reverence by his students and colleagues and all who knew him.

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