We at Carlsen Cello Foundation, along with the rest of the cello and music worlds, mourn the loss of master cellist and teacher, Janos Starker. It is difficult to imagine anyone in any field having as far-reaching an impact on so many as Starker did. He was a great model and gave us all so much to aspire to – in his virtually flawless playing, in his complete and lifelong commitment to teaching, and perhaps most importantly, in the uncompromising rigor and passion with which he approached his work. He set what might seem to be impossibly high standards, and yet in his own words:
“It is part of our lives in a way that we cannot wake up in the morning and go through life without music and without having this essential aspect of it, that music means just as much as eating and drinking or living,” (from NPR: The Two-Way, by Bill Chappell, April 28, 2013)
The sad and somewhat sudden news of his passing made us all reflect on what an amazing life Janos Starker had, and how much he gave us. We have watched his videos again, and listened to his many interviews. We will miss his huge presence, but we are also grateful for the legacy and example he has left us, in recordings and videos, in writings, and through his students.
You can read more about Janos Starker at these links, or watch one of his most iconic performances, of the Kodaly Sonata for Solo Cello, all three movements available on YouTube.