This anecdote is contributed by Robert Fitzpatrick, former Dean of the Curtis Institute, who heard that the last-named teacher told it about himself.
Three cellists die and appear before St. Peter.
Cellist 1: I have led an exemplary life and studied with Rostropovich.
St. Peter: Go straight to hell!
Cellist 2: I have been very pious, still practice Piatti every day, and studied with Aldo Parisot.
St. Peter: Please go straight to hell.
Cellist 3: I have nothing to say in my defence except that I studied with Janos Starker.
St. Peter: Please come right in, you’ve been through hell already.
photo courtesy Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where Mr Starker is Distinguished Professor of Music (Cello)