The “lady’s” cello by the luthier Vincenzo Sanino (1902) that Simon Prunet-Foch is lending to Talents & Violon’celles was the instrument of his grandmother, Marguerite-Marie Prunet-Foch, née Thévenin. It was probably bought in the early 1930s from the Millant Violin Workshop, then located at 56, rue de Rome in Paris.

Marguerite-Marie received lessons from Jean Dumont at her home in the rue Copernic, accompanied on the piano by her mother, Suzanne Thévenin, née Ogliastro. After receiving several prizes, she was awarded the second prize for cello (degree of excellence) by the Léopold-Bellan Association in June 1937. However, unlike her fellow student, the illustrious Reine Flachot, she did not turn to a professional career.

Her instrument accompanied her during the difficult years of the war, and as far as Andorra where she followed her husband, the French viguier (or judge at the High Court) of the principality from 1977 to 1980. Of immense discretion, she retained a profound attachment to this cello throughout her life, which she played with passion and fervour for 75 years. The instrument has now been entrusted to one of her grandsons, Simon Prunet-Foch, professional organist at Sainte-Marie-des-Batignolles in Paris, to whom she passed on her immense passion for music.