Daniil Borisovich Shafran (13/1/1923 Saint Petersburg – 7/2/1997, Moscow) was one of the finest Russian cellists but is still rather unknown by the large public.
His father, Boris Shafran, was the principal cellist of the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. His mother was a pianist. He began playing cello at the age of 6. Subsequently he continued his studies with professor Alexander Shtrimer (1888 – 1961) in a special music school for children at the age of 8. He won first prize at the USSR All Union Competition at the age of 14. At the time, he was below the age limit but the competition committee approved his entry. He was given the Antonio Amati cello made in 1630 as a prize. He used this instrument ever since for all of his career as a concert cellist.
The second cello concerto of Kabalevsky was dedicated to him. He recorded the cello sonata of Shostakovich with the composer himself. Characteristic of his style was his inimitable rich tone, which, given the fact that he played a baroque instrument was even more of a wonder, his unlimited musical freedom, and his technical perfection.