André Navarra was born in Biarritz on October 13, 1911. Very early on, he had a special relationship with music, as he himself came from a family of musicians. At the age of seven, he began to study singing and the cello. At the age of nine, he was admitted as a student at the Toulouse Conservatory, from which he graduated with first prize in 1924. He then studied for two more years at the Paris Conservatory, where he won the first prize at only fifteen years old.
In 1929, André Navarra joined the Kretly String Quartet, with which he performed for the next seven years. He made his solo debut with the Orchestre Colonne in Paris in 1931, where he performed Lalo's Concerto. In 1933, he became principal cellist of the Orchestre du Grand Opéra. He performed as a soloist with various European orchestras. After the war, he continued to give concerts and toured the world, playing with the great conductors of the time. His recording of the Edward Elgar concerto with John Barbirolli and the Hallé Orchestra is considered a classic.
André Navarra was a renowned professor of cello at the Paris Conservatory and the Northwest German Academy of Music. He also taught in Siena, London and Vienna. Many of his students became famous cellists, such as Heinrich Schiff, Johannes Goritsky and Susan Sheppard. A series of recordings for the French label Calliope has been released and includes some great playing of Bach, Camille Saint-Saëns and Schubert suites. He also produced LPs for the Capitol label in the 1950s. The French label Dante released four very good records from the 1940s.