Janos Starker

Cellist Taeguk Mun wins $25,000 János Starker Foundation Award

Reprinted from The Strad 12/14/2016 South Korean cellist Taeguk Mun has won the János Starker Foundation Award, worth $25,000. Granted to cellists under the age of 30 ‘who have already begun a significant career in music’, the prize was created in memory of legendary Hungarian-American cellist and pedagogue János Starker, who died in April 2013 at the age of 88. Candidates submit an unedited video recording of six works, representing Pre-Classical, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century and Contemporary eras of Western music. A former Juilliard School student, Mun is currently a pupil of Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He won the Pablo Casals International Cello Competition in 2014, and the Andre Navarra International Cello Competition in 2011.

János Starker Remembrance Week: Starker’s Two Grandchildren Remember Grandpa

CelloBello apologizes that the last beautiful paragraph of Alexandra Preucil’s blog was originally omitted. Be sure to read the corrected version. By Alexandra Preucil Assistant Concertmaster Cleveland Orchestra For as long as I can remember, family gatherings have been synonymous with music making. Sometimes this took place in fancy concert halls, but more often than not, my family would simply come together in the music room. As a young child I would watch in awe and dream of the day that I could join them. […]

János Starker Remembrance Week: Presenting My Mentor with His Honorary Doctorate in 2006 — by Paul Katz

It is a privilege for me to be able to use my website,  CelloBello.com,  to honor my former teacher, colleague, and friend of many decades, the legendary János Starker, July 5, 1924 – April 28, 2013. In May 2006, the New England Conservatory of Music presented János Starker with an Honorary Doctor of Music, and I was asked to introduce him. To speak publicly of him was an emotional and gratifying moment for me, and as we celebrate him in the year 2015, it feels appropriate for me to share my words of nine years. János Starker Receiving His Honorary Doctorate at the New England Conservatory New England Conservatory of Music Commencement on Sunday, May 21, 2006 "It is my honor and great personal pleasure to present to you János [...]

János Starker Remembrance Week: The Test

After a long journey a young man arrived deep in a forest where the teacher of his choice was living in a small house he had built himself. When the student arrived, the teacher was sweeping up autumn’s falling leaves. Greeting his new master, the young man received no greeting in return. And to all his questions, there were no replies. Realizing there was nothing he could do to get the teacher’s attention, the student went to another part of the same forest and built himself a house. Years later, when he was sweeping up autumn’s fallen leaves, he became enlightened. He thought to drop everything, run through the forest, and say “Thank you!” to the teacher. Instead he stayed sweeping, calm & smiling.              [...]

János Starker Remembrance Week: A Tribute To János Starker

By Maria Kliegel A moment of tense, expectant silence – to me it seemed to be an eternity. A couple of silent smoky clouds floating in the teaching room.  Janos Starker looked at me in his typical manner, a gaze so full of intensity that I could feel it under my skin, followed by a shattering comment, uttered with a cool slowness and a stony, unchangeable look on his face:  “if you ever play as inaccurately as you just did, I will deny ever having been your teacher.“ And again, an eternal moment of silence, this time I sat horrified in my chair, not being able to breathe or move. Silent smoky clouds. One of my lessons in Bloomington ended this way – the Haydn D major concerto. […]

János Starker Remembrance Week: Reminiscences from the Starker Studio

Cello-playing aside, Starker’s intelligence, force of personality, and personal discipline were intimidating to most people, and downright frightening to students.  Our culture generally allows our geniuses and high achievers to be self-indulgent and immature outside of their field of endeavor, but Starker lived out his ideals and principles at all times (that we could see).  This discipline made him virtually bullet-proof as a cellist. During my two years in Bloomington, I carried a relatively light course load, as I wanted to observe as many lessons as possible.  I was in MA 155 many mornings when he came in, looking tired and/or hungover, needing coffee, and not wanting to hear anything too loud.  The student would play for awhile, and Starker would listen as long as he could before had to [...]

CelloBello János Starker Remembrance Week: Janos Starker, Who Is, Was, and Always Will Be My Master

Starker with pianist Gyorgy Sebok – life-long friend and musical partner of Starker. By Michael Haber Many years ago, I was on a family trip to Israel. In a hotel in Beersheva, I was surprised to find Mr. Starker standing in the lobby together with the conductor of the Israel Sinfonietta. I greeted Mr. Starker………”Janos Starker, who is, was, and always will be my master.” What has remained with me since my final lesson with Mr. Starker in August 1966 is his personal brilliance as a man and his deep patience and kindness. His way of being kind, which often meant an uncompromising honesty, was perhaps not for everyone. But what is more kind, in a teacher/student relationship, than taking a student seriously enough to share with them what [...]

CelloBello János Starker Remembrance Week: Life as a Student of János Starker

János Starker “S” Bridge János Starker’s incomparable achievements as a performer and recording artist are well-documented. However, when I first appeared at his door as a new graduate student, my awareness of him mostly stemmed from hearing others speak about him, and from only one of his recordings: that of Zoltan Kodaly’s Sonata, Op. 8. I had developed a mental image of Mr. Starker as an austere, intimidating presence. Paul Katz, with whom I had been studying at Eastman, enjoyed a longstanding friendship with Mr. Starker, and in those years Paul would often send a graduating senior to Bloomington for further education. […]

CelloBello János Starker Remembrance Week April 22-28

CelloBello Remembers János Starker Please join us for a full week of events and video releases,to remember and honor this great figure of the cello world.Preview of upcoming events: New Videos of Never-Before Seen Interviews Newly released interview videos of János Starker in conversation with Paul Katz in 2010.  April 22: Growing as a PerformerApril 23: Releasing TensionApril 24: Rhythmic FreedomApril 25: VibratoApril 26: His Performance AnxietyApril 27: His Difficult, Early Years Please visit our János Starker CelloLegacy section on CelloBello.com each day to view the newest video. Daily Blogs A new blog each day at CelloBlog by former Starker students and family includingRobert Battey, Paul Katz, Maria Kliegel, Alexandra Preucil (Starker’s granddaughter),Brant Taylor and Jeffrey Zeigler. CelloChatsYour chance to ask questions about Starker’s cello teachings and hear personal anecdotes and stories of the master! 3 special CelloChats with former students of Starker Reminiscing: What I Learned From János Starkerall [...]

A Celebration of Janos Starker in Memories & Music: Toronto, July 27-28

A Message from Gabriella Starker It is overwhelming as well as comforting to read and hear the outpouring of respect, memories and emotion since my father left us. I am still emotionally unable to look at all of it. I know I will eventually. My father was my inspiration, my mentor, my strongest and most demanding critic and my great friend. I know that most of you would say exactly the same. His devotion and passion for those he taught and inspired was all encompassing. Nothing gave him greater joy or pleasure. Personally I am reeling from the loss of my daddy, even the detail that he was the last family I could speak with in Hungarian when it came to the basics and not the intellectual pursuits. Life without [...]