David Soyer, the founding cellist of the Guarneri String Quartet, died yesterday at his apartment in New York, a day after his 87th birthday. The news comes from Frank Salomon, a co-administrator of the Marlboro Music Festival, with which Mr. Soyer had a long association.
Mr. Soyer, the violinists Arnold Steinhardt and John Dalley and the violist Michael Tree formed the Guarneri at Marlboro in 1964, and it became one of the premier quartets in the world. He retired in 2001, its only personnel change. One of his former students, Peter Wiley, took over. The quartet retired as a whole earlier this season. At its last New York concert, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mr. Soyer joined in to play Schubert’s String Quintet in C.