János Starker

Biography

Born: July 5, 1924; Budapest, Hungary   Died: April 28, 2013; Bloomington, IN  
Cellist Janos Starker was born in Hungary to music-loving Russian parents. His two brothers were violinists, and he was given a cello before he was six. He made public appearances at ages six and seven. Soon he entered the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, making his debut there at 11. He had begun teaching other children at eight, and by the time he was 12 he had five pupils. Starker regards the experience as important to his artistic Read more development. He found himself having to articulate phenomena that students his age rarely grasp, let alone impart to others. Starker was especially influenced by Leo Weiner, a composer who taught chamber music. He said that for more than 50 years Weiner taught every prominent Hungarian musician to learn and understand music as a language.

At 14 Starker made his professional debut playing the Dvorák concerto. He left the conservatory in 1939. After the war, when musical activities resumed, Starker became principal cellist of the Budapest Opera and the Budapest Philharmonic orchestras. Soviet Red Army forces had occupied the country, and the Communist Party was gaining dominance. Starker left the country in 1946 when relatively free travel was still possible.

He gave a successful concert in Vienna, then remained there to prepare for the Geneva Cello Competition, held in October 1946. He won only a bronze medal. "I played like a blind man," he has said. "What happens to the bird who sings and doesn't know how it sings? That's what happens to child prodigies." Starker set out to rebuild his technique. He analyzed all aspects of playing, from breathing to the physics of applying muscular force to the bow and the instrument, to phrasing, bowing, and fingering. By October of the following year he had regained his confidence. He decided to stay in the West due to the deteriorating political situation in Hungary, and headed for the United States, where Hungarian musicians had important positions.

Antal Dorati, music director of the Dallas Symphony, made Starker the orchestra's principal cellist. A year later Starker accepted Fritz Reiner's invitation to become principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In 1953 Reiner began a brilliant period as music director of the Chicago Symphony, and brought Starker with him to lead the cello section. Starker remained in Chicago until 1958, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1954 and bringing his family to the country. In 1958 he resigned his Chicago position in order to pursue his solo career. In the meantime, he had already begun making important recordings, including an early set of Bach suites. Easing the transition was an offer from Indiana University School of Music to join the faculty on a two-year trial basis. Starker quickly found Bloomington a congenial base, and attracted exceptionally talented students.

Starker's stage demeanor and public persona were rather restrained and undemonstrative. The unwary draw the same mistaken conclusion that also plagued Jascha Heifetz, charging Starker with coldness and lack of emotion. Discerning critics, however, have always tended to speak of the warmth and expressiveness of his playing. Another similarity to Heifetz lies in Starker's very focused tone, with a light, narrow, and quick vibrato. He proclaimed himself happier if, after a concert, people say "What beautiful music Schubert wrote" rather than "How well Starker plays." Similarly, he considered it at least as important to turn out the next generation of fine cello teachers as the next generation of star players. Read less
American Classics - Diamond: Symphony No 3, Etc / Schwartz  , Starker, Seattle So
Release Date: 04/15/2003   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559155   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 76-95 of 95 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Janos Starker - Concerto Collection / Santa Fe Festival
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3197 Release Date: 01/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  François Couperin,  J-B-A Joseph Janson,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  János Starker
    Conductor:  János Starker
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Fe Festival Orchestra
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  • 77.
    Bach At Bedtime
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 446915 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux,  Heinz Holliger,  Irena Grafenauer,  Andreas Greger  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Münchinger,  Raymond Leppard,  Iona Brown,  Peter Schreier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 78.
    American Archives Series - Kurka, Mennin, Piston
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 44 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Walter Piston,  Peter Mennin,  Robert Kurka
    Performer:  János Starker
    Conductor:  Jorge Mester,  Robert Whitney
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Louisville Orchestra
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  • 79.
    Beethoven: Complete Concertos Vol 2 / Kovacevich, Krebbers
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 442580 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Lidia Grychtolówna,  Herman Krebbers,  Henryk Szeryng  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Heinz Dressel,  Bernard Haitink,  Eliahu Inbal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Folkwang Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 80.
    Starer: Cello Concerto;  Wernick: Viola Concerto / Botstein
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 618 Release Date: 06/10/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Starer,  Richard Wernick,  Richard Wilson
    Performer:  János Starker,  Walter Trampler,  Blanca Uribe
    Conductor:  Leon Botstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra
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  • 81.
    Repertoire - Starker Encore Album
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 8117 Release Date: 08/27/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wilhelm Friedemann Bach  ... 
    Performer:  János Starker,  Shuku Iwasaki
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  • 82.
    Repertoire - Virtuoso Music For Cello / Janos Starker
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 8118 Release Date: 08/27/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  János Starker,  Shigeo Neriki
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  • 83.
    Brazilian Festival `88 - A Brazilian Extravaganza
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1017 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marlos Nobre,  Heitor Villa-Lobos
    Performer:  János Starker,  Elizabeth Sawyer,  Sonia Muniz
    Conductor:  Eleazar de Carvalho
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paraiba Symphony Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Brazilian Festival `88 - Masters & Winners
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1018 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Béla Bartók,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Emmanuel Lopez,  Karen Elaine,  Scott Yoo,  Aldo Parisot  ... 
    Conductor:  Eleazar de Carvalho
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paraiba Symphony Orchestra
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  • 85.
    Intimate Encounters
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3505 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  David Shifrin,  Carol Rosenberger,  Allan Vogel,  Kenneth Munday  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orford String Quartet,  Chamber Music Northwest
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  • 86.
    Second Stage - The Symphonic Sound Stage Vol 2
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3504 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Howard Hanson,  Walter Piston,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger,  János Starker
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  James DePreist,  Eleazar de Carvalho
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Oregon Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 87.
    Starker Plays Kodaly
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1015 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Bottermund,  Zoltán Kodály
    Performer:  János Starker,  Josef Gingold
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  • 88.
    The Symphonic Sound Stage - A Listener's Guide
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3502 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Ottorino Respighi,  Manuel de Falla,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger,  János Starker,  Della Jones
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  James DePreist
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Oregon Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 89.
    Haydn: Symphonies 21 & 96, Cello Concerto / Schwarz, Starker
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3062 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  János Starker
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 90.
    Haydn: Symphony Nos 61 & 103, Etc / Schwarz, Starker
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3063 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  János Starker
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Popper: Romantic Cello Favorites / Starker, Neriki
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3065 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Popper
    Performer:  Shigeo Neriki,  János Starker
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  • 92.
    Bach: Suites For Solo Cello / Janos Starker
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 432756 Release Date: 11/08/1991   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  János Starker,  György Sebok
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  • 93.
    Schumann, Lalo, Saint-saëns: Cello Concertos / János Starker
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 432010 Release Date: 02/08/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Edouard Lalo,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  János Starker
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 94.
    Dvorák: Cello Concerto; Bruch, Tchaikovsky / Starker, Dorati
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 432001 Release Date: 09/12/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  János Starker
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 95.
    Brahms: Piano Trios 1 & 2 / Katchen, Suk, Starker
    Label: London/Decca Chamber Mus Series   Catalog: 4211522 Release Date: 06/20/1988   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  János Starker,  Josef Suk,  Julius Katchen
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1 2 3 4

Biography

Born: July 5, 1924; Budapest, Hungary   Died: April 28, 2013; Bloomington, IN  
Cellist Janos Starker was born in Hungary to music-loving Russian parents. His two brothers were violinists, and he was given a cello before he was six. He made public appearances at ages six and seven. Soon he entered the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, making his debut there at 11. He had begun teaching other children at eight, and by the time he was 12 he had five pupils. Starker regards the experience as important to his artistic Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
I. Allegro con brio
II. Andante cantabile con variazioni
III. Menuetto: Quasi allegro
IV. Finale: Prestissimo
I. Molto allegro ed agitato
II. Andante con moto tranquillo
III. Scherzo: Leggiero e vivace
IV. Finale: Allegro assai appassionato
Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op.102 - 1. Allegro
Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op.102 - 2. Andante
Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op.102 - 3. Vivace non troppo - Poco meno allegro - Tempo I
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C, Op.56 - 1. Allegro
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C, Op.56 - 2. Largo -
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C, Op.56 - 3. Rondo alla Polacca
Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.58 (1995 Remastered Version): I. Andante - Poco meno mosso (Andante assai) - Adagio
Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.58 (1995 Remastered Version): II. Allegro giusto
Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.58 (1995 Remastered Version): III. Tema: Allegro - Interludio: L'Istesso tempo - Variations I-III - Interludio II: Tempo I: - Variation IV - Reminiscenza: Meno mosso - Coda: Poco piů sostenuto - Piů mosso
Poco allegro
Lento
Allegro con brio
Allegro
Largo
Allegro commodo
Poco andante; Moderato
Andante
Allegro (ma non presto)
Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Op. 28: Introducing the Rogue
Till's Pranks
Till's Trial
Sentence and Execution
Epilogue
J.S. Bach: Suite for Cello Solo No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite for Cello Solo No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite for Cello Solo No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite for Cello Solo No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite for Cello Solo No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011 - 5. Gavotte I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite for Cello Solo No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011 - 6. Gigue
Locatelli: Sonata in D - Arranged for Cello and Continuo by Alfredo Piatti (1822-1901) - 1. Allegro
Locatelli: Sonata in D - Arranged for Cello and Continuo by Alfredo Piatti (1822-1901) - 2. Adagio
Locatelli: Sonata in D - Arranged for Cello and Continuo by Alfredo Piatti (1822-1901) - 3. Minuetto
Brahms: Sonata for Cello and Piano No.2 in F, Op.99 - 1. Allegro vivace
Brahms: Sonata for Cello and Piano No.2 in F, Op.99 - 2. Adagio affettuoso
Brahms: Sonata for Cello and Piano No.2 in F, Op.99 - 3. Allegro appassionata
Brahms: Sonata for Cello and Piano No.2 in F, Op.99 - 4. Allegro molto
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor, Op.33 - 1. Allegro non troppo
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor, Op.33 - 2. Allegretto con moto
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor, Op.33 - 3. Un peu moins vite
Debussy: Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor - 1. Prologue (lent)
Debussy: Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor - 2. Sérénade (Modérément animé)
Debussy: Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor - 3. Finale (Animé)
1. Allegro
2. Andante
3. Vivace non troppo - Poco meno allegro - Tempo I
Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85: Adagio; Moderato
Lento; Allegro molto
Adagio
Allegro, ma non troppo; Poco piů lento; Allegro molto
Andante - Maestoso
Allegro
Andante
Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op.102 - 1. Allegro
Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op.102 - 2. Andante
Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op.102 - 3. Vivace non troppo - Poco meno allegro - Tempo I
Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op.102 - 1. Allegro
Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op.102 - 2. Andante
Brahms: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op.102 - 3. Vivace non troppo - Poco meno allegro - Tempo I
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C, Op.56 - 1. Allegro
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C, Op.56 - 2. Largo -
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C, Op.56 - 3. Rondo alla Polacca
I. Prélude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Menuet 1 and 2
Gigue
Suite No. 3 in C, BWV 1009: Prelude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Bourée 1 and 2
Gigue
Suite No. 5, BWV 1011, in C Minor: Prelude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Gavotte 1 and 2
Gigue
Suite No. 2, BWV 1008, in D Minor: Prelude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Menuet 1 and 2
Gigue
Prelude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Bourée 1 and 2
Gigue
Suite No. 6 in D, BWV 1012: Prelude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Gavotte 1 and 2
Gigue
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C, Op.56 - 1. Allegro
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C, Op.56 - 2. Largo -
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C, Op.56 - 3. Rondo alla Polacca