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Hilary du Pré (born 1942) is a Britishmarker flautist and memoirist famous for her co-authorship of the book A Genius in the Family and contributions to the film Hilary and Jackie, both of which relate the family story around her sister, the brilliant cellist Jacqueline du Pré.

Du Pré is married to conductor Christopher "Kiffer" Finzi They had four children together.

Early life and education

Hilary du Pré was born in Wokingmarker, Surreymarker, the eldest child of an upper middle-class family headed by an accountant father and a pianist mother.

She revealed a natural affinity for music at an early age, but was overshadowed by the talents of her younger sister Jackie. The latter became a famed cellist whose life and career were cut short by multiple sclerosis.

Hilary married Christopher Finzi and lived with him in the country with the family they made. Allegedly with his wife's consent, Finzi had a romantic affair with his ailing sister-in-law, who was exhibiting suicidal behavior as the result of a nervous breakdown.

In her 1997 memoir A Genius in the Family, co-written with her brother Piers, du Pré chronicled the complex relationship, both tortured and deeply loving, which she had with her sister. She claimed to have agreed to the affair because she wanted Jackie to experience the stable family life the younger woman envied. This version of events has been contradicted by a number of sources, including Hilary and Christopher's daughter. [416704] She said that her father had more than one affair and exhibited abusive behaviour towards Jacqueline du Pré while she was in a vulnerable, emotional state.

Film and Book

Anand Tucker's controversial 1998 film Hilary and Jackie is based on A Genius in the Family, and features Emily Watson as Jacqueline and Rachel Griffiths as Hilary. Although the film was a critical and box-office success, and received several Academy Award nominations, it ignited a furor, especially in London, center of du Pre's activities. A group of her closest colleagues (including fellow cellists Rostropovich and Julian Lloyd Webber) sent a bristling letter to the Times. Clare Finzi, Hilary's daughter, charged that the film was a "gross misinterpretation, which I cannot let go unchallenged." The London Evening Standard reported (18 June 1999) that a cello student from the Royal College of Music was paid by the film's PR company Maclaurin Group to picket the premiere in order to create added publicity. Barenboim-who has always teetered on the edge of villainy in du Pre-revering quarters-said, "Couldn't they have waited until I was dead?"[416705].

Hilary, Jacqui's sister, and co-author of the book strongly defends both the book and the film, writing, in The Guardian; "At first I could not understand why people didn't believe my story because I had set out to tell the whole truth. When you tell someone the truth about your family, you don't expect them to turn around and say that it's bunkum. But I knew that Jackie would have respected what I had done. If I had gone for half-measures, she would have torn it up. She would have wanted the complete story to be told."[416706]. The New Yorker reported her as saying, “When you love someone, you love the whole of them. Those who are against the film want to look only at the pieces of Jackie’s life that they accept. I don’t think the film has taken any liberties at all. Jackie would have absolutely loved it.”[416707]

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