The son of the cantor of two synagogues in Prague's ghetto Popper auditioned for the Prague Conservatory aged 12 as a violinist and matriculated six years later as a cellist. Goltermann then took him up as student and his progress was such that aged 18 he was appointed assistant principal cellist of the Löwenberg Court Orchestra, and the following year assumed the post of principal. Prestigious posts such as principal in the Vienna Hofoper and the Vienna PO soon followed. Liszt appointed him as professor at the National Hungarian Royal Academy of Music in 1886 where he remained until his death. He composed mostly for his own instrument but his arrangement and transcription of Cherubini's setting of Ave Maria became so popular and widespread that many thought it was Popper's composition. Enjoy :-).