We are informed by pupils and friends that the great cellist and teacher Janos Starker died today in Bloomington, Indiana, at 5am. He was 88 years old and had been in terminal care for the last few weeks.
Budapest born, to Jewish parents who arrived from Poland and Russia after the first world war, Janos began teaching other kids at eight years old. He studied with Bartok, Kodaly and Dohnanyi at the Liszt Academy and was fortunate to survive a Nazi camp; his older brothers were killed.
He left Communist Hungary in 1946, reaching the US two years later. After serving as principal cello in Dallas, the Met and ultimately the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he resumed a solo career in 1958 and took up teaching at Indiana University. His pupils include numerous soloists and principals in major orchestras. He appears as soloist on 160 recordings.