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About JANOS STARKER
Early years Born July 5, 1924 in Budapest, Hungary to music-loving parents who introduced him to music at an early age, he began his study of the cello at the age of six, decided on a career as solo cellist at nine, and at eleven began performing in public.
Early career Following his studies at Budapest's Franz Liszt Academy of Music, he joined the Budapest Opera Orchestra and the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, rising to the position of first cellist.
American beginnings In 1948, following a year in Paris, he was brought to Dallas by the Hungarian conductor Antal Dorati where he became the principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

In 1949, determined to build a career based in America, he become principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra which at the time was being fine-tuned by the great Hungarian-born conductors Fritz Reiner and George Szell.

In 1952, Fritz Reiner left the Met for the Chicago Symphony and took Janos Starker with him to become the orchestra's principal cellist, a post he held for the next 6 years.

In 1958 he joined the faculty of the School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington (where today he holds the title of Distinguished Professor). He pursued his international solo career in earnest in the same year, becoming the first recipient of the Tracy M. Sonneborn Award, an honor given by the University to a faculty member who has achieved distinction both as teacher and artist.
At the peak: one of the great virtuoso cellists and musicians of all time As recording and performing artist:

Mr. Starker's pursuit of a solo career during his first years in America was in the form of recordings - first with a little known Hungarian-owned company called Period while he was still at the Met, then with Angel, and eventually with Mercury for which he recorded the masterpieces on the historic Mercury Living Presence label that first brought him fame.

Today he has recorded more than 165 works on various labels, of which the following have won or been nominated for awards:
Bach's Suites for Solo Cello, Nos. 1-6 (1997 Grammy Award for "Best Recording by a Soloist without Accompaniment"); Sonatas for cello and piano by Brahms, Debussy, Martinu (1993 Grammy Award Nominee); Zoltan Kodaly's Sonata for Unaccompanied Cello (France's Grand Prix du Disque).

Raised on Bach and Bartok and recognized as a leading interpreter of Kodaly, Mr. Starker has performed or recorded most everything in the repertoire for cello. He has performed with nearly all the great orchestras of the world and his recitals and concerts have taken him to major concert halls all over the globe.

The occasion of his 75th birthday was a cause for celebration in the musical world, e.g., Chicago's "Concerts under the Dome" (May 14, 1999), Summerfest La Jolla's "Celebration Weekend" (August 6-8, 1999), and Indiana University's September 14, 1999 gala program which marked his first concert collaboration with famed cellist-conductor Mstislav Rostropovich. Today though semi-retired, Mr. Starker maintains a busy year-round concert schedule (60 concerts in 1999!) and continues to pursue his other vocation with a passion - teaching.

As teacher:

Janos Starker is as famous for his classes as for his concerts. Many of his students have launched performing or teaching careers of their own. Today he is still teacher to 14 cello students. He sums up the philosophy that underpins his passion for performance and pedagogy thus:

"I, personally, cannot perform without teaching, and I cannot teach without performing. When you have to explain what you are doing, you discover what you are really doing."


He has also supplemented his teaching with other related activities, such as: editing some of the cello music of Bach, Schubert, Beethoven, Dvorak, and other composers; publishing an edition of his own cadenzas; writing articles on musical and other subjects for both professional journals and popular magazines; and authoring a treatise on "An Organized Method of String Playing for Cello" (as well as for bass).
The rewards of great artistry and mastery of knowledge The love, respect and admiration for Janos Starker, the man and the artist have been expressed by his colleagues and music lovers worldwide in many ways: as works written expressly for him by such modern-day composers as David Baker, Antal Dorati, Bernard Heide, Jean Martinon, Miklos Rozsa, and Robert Starer; and as honorary doctorate degrees and numerous other honors and awards all befitting a man who continues to live a most remarkable life in music.
- copyright 1999 © G.Cajipe/FanFaire
 

                                           A 75th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION       ABOUT JANOS STARKER      DISCOGRAPHY


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