Maurice Gendron, 69, a cellist who played with Yehudi Menuhin and Pablo Casals. Considered one of the greatest French cellists of the century, Gendron took up the instrument at age 12 at the Nice Conservatory, moved to Paris as a teen-ager, and captured the prestigious first prize in cello at the Paris Conservatory in 1938. He made a name for himself playing in salons for artists such as Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Francois Mauriac. Gendron played for the Paris Symphony Orchestra for more than 30 years and performed chamber music with Casals and Menuhin. He also was a soloist under the baton of Ernest Ansermet. He toured the world and last appeared in Los Angeles in 1983 in the Piatigorsky seminar series at USC. He held two of France's highest civilian honors: Officer of the Legion of Honor and the National Order of Merit. On Monday in Paris of undisclosed causes.