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Janos Starker

Known as one of the great virtuoso cellists of the 20th century, Janos Starker built a career that lasted more than five decades. He prided himself on his technique, his style of playing and his musical intelligence. He performed works by such composers as David Baker, Antal Dorati, Bernard Heiden, Jean Martinon, Miklos Rozsa and Robert Starer, to name a few. Over the course of his musical career he played with all the major orchestras and appeared on every continent in recitals or concerts. He also had been broadcast on radio and television, and recorded more than 150 works.

Janos Starker was born in Budapest in 1924. He began studying the cello when he was six years old and teaching others to play at the age of eight; his public debut was in 1934. He left Hungary at the age of 22 and won the Grand Prix du Disque for his rendition of the "Kodaly Solo Sonata." With an invitation from Antal Dorati, Janos Starker went to the U.S. in 1948 to be first cellist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. His successful stint with the orchestra resulted in an invitation from Fritz Reiner to join the Metropolitan Opera, and finally led him to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While with the Metropolitan Opera, Starker recorded his first "Solo Suites of Bach" on the Period Records label. In 1957 he recorded all six suites of Bach and established new standards for the recordings of Bach.

In 1958, Starker decided to pursue a solo music career that included teaching. He became a Distinguished Professor at Indiana University's School of Music, and because of his fame and international recognition, his classes attracted string players from all around the world. His teachings included master classes, string seminars, and lectures and demonstrations.

In addition to his teaching and recording activities, Starker edited numerous cello pieces by Bach, Schubert, Bottermund, Beethoven and Dvorak. He published his own cadenzas and numerous articles for periodicals. His greatest accomplishment was the invention of the "Starker Bridge," a device that expands the quality and quantity of tone of stringed instruments. Starker also wrote about the most effective way to play a stringed instrument in his book An Organized Method of String Playing for Cello (and one for Bass); another educational tool is his recording The Road to Cello Playing.

In 1991, Starker signed an exclusive contract with BMG/RCA Red Seal and recorded Brahms, Sonatas for Cello and Piano, Martinu, Cello Sonatas and Strauss, Till Eulenspiegel/Don Quixote, Op. 35.

Starker received a Grammy nomination for his tribute to David Popper, a Czech cellist and composer, in 1990. He released Elgar and Walton Concertos, an album with Leonard Slatkin and the Philharmonica Orchestra. His time was spent touring, recording, and working in his studio on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington. ~ Kim Summers
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Cello Essentials

1. La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin

2. Moment Musical Op. 94, No. 3

3. Grave In The Style Of W.F. Bach

4. Rumanian Folk Dances

5. Apres Un Reve, Op. 7, No. 1

6. Hungarian Rhapsody, Op. 68

7. Kinderszenen Op. 15, No. 7: Traumerei

8. Tarantella, Op. 33

9. Arioso

10. Moses Fantasie: Variations On One String On A Theme By Rossini

11. El Amor Brujo: Ritual Fire Dance

12. Sicilienne

13. The Barber Of Seville: Figaro

x

Track List: Legendary Period LPs Vol. 1

Disc 1

1. Cello Concerto In B–flat: Allegro Moderato

2. Cello Concerto In B–flat: Andantino Grazioso

3. Cello Concerto In B–flat: Rondo: Allegro

4. Cello Concerto In E–flat: Allegro

5. Cello Concerto In E–flat: Romance

6. Cello Concerto In E–flat: Allegro

7. Rhapsody For Cello No. 1: Lassu (Lento) / Friss (Allegretto)

8. Lakodalmas, Hungarian Wedding Dance For Cello

Disc 2

1. Sonata For Unaccompanied Cello, Op. 8: Allegro Maestoso Ma Appassionato

2. Sonata For Unaccompanied Cello, Op. 8: Adagio (Con Gran Espressione)

3. Sonata For Unaccompanied Cello, Op. 8: Allegro Molto Vivace

4. Duo For Violin And Cello, Op. 7: Allegro Serioso, Non Troppo

5. Duo For Violin And Cello, Op. 7: Adagio

6. Duo For Violin And Cello, Op. 7: Maestoso E Largamente, Ma Non Troppo Lento

7. Sonata For Cello And Piano, Op. 4: Fantasie, Adagio Di Molto

8. Sonata For Cello And Piano, Op. 4: Allegro Con Spirito

x

Track List: Suites for Solo Cello

Disc 1
Title: Suite For Solo Cello No. 1 In G Major, Bwv 1007

1. Suite For Solo Cello No. 1 In G Major, Bwv 1007: I. Prelude

2. Suite For Solo Cello No. 1 In G Major, Bwv 1007: II. Allemande

3. Suite For Solo Cello No. 1 In G Major, Bwv 1007: III. Courante

4. Suite For Solo Cello No. 1 In G Major, Bwv 1007: IV. Sarabande

5. Suite For Solo Cello No. 1 In G Major, Bwv 1007: V. Menuet 1 & 2

6. Suite For Solo Cello No. 1 In G Major, Bwv 1007: VI. Gigue

Title: Suite For Solo Cello No. 3 In C Major, Bwv 1009

7. Suite For Solo Cello No. 3 In C Major, Bwv 1009: I. Prelude

8. Suite For Solo Cello No. 3 In C Major, Bwv 1009: II. Allemande

9. Suite For Solo Cello No. 3 In C Major, Bwv 1009: III. Courante

10. Suite For Solo Cello No. 3 In C Major, Bwv 1009: IV. Sarabande

11. Suite For Solo Cello No. 3 In C Major, Bwv 1009: V. Boureé 1 & 2

12. Suite For Solo Cello No. 3 In C Major, Bwv 1009: VI. Gigue

Title: Suite For Solo Cello No. 5 In C Minor, Bwv 1011

13. Suite For Solo Cello No. 5 In C Minor, Bwv 1011: I. Prelude

14. Suite For Solo Cello No. 5 In C Minor, Bwv 1011: II. Allemande

15. Suite For Solo Cello No. 5 In C Minor, Bwv 1011: III. Courante

16. Suite For Solo Cello No. 5 In C Minor, Bwv 1011: IV. Sarabande

17. Suite For Solo Cello No. 5 In C Minor, Bwv 1011: V. Gavotte 1 & 2

18. Suite For Solo Cello No. 5 In C Minor, Bwv 1011: VI. Gigue

Disc 2
Title: Suite For Solo Cello No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1008

1. Suite For Solo Cello No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1008: I. Prelude

2. Suite For Solo Cello No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1008: II. Allemande

3. Suite For Solo Cello No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1008: III. Courante

4. Suite For Solo Cello No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1008: IV. Sarabande

5. Suite For Solo Cello No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1008: V. Menuets 1 & 2

6. Suite For Solo Cello No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1008: II. Gigue

Title: Suite For Solo Cello No. 4 In E Flat Major, Bwv 1010

7. Suite For Solo Cello No. 4 In E Flat Major, Bwv 1010: I. Prelude

8. Suite For Solo Cello No. 4 In E Flat Major, Bwv 1010: II. Allemande

9. Suite For Solo Cello No. 4 In E Flat Major, Bwv 1010: III. Courante

10. Suite For Solo Cello No. 4 In E Flat Major, Bwv 1010: IV. Sarabande

11. Suite For Solo Cello No. 4 In E Flat Major, Bwv 1010: V. Bourrées 1 & 2

12. Suite For Solo Cello No. 4 In E Flat Major, Bwv 1010: VI. Gigue

Title: Suite For Solo Cello No. 6 In D Major, Bwv 1012

13. Suite For Solo Cello No. 6 In D Major, Bwv 1012: I. Prelude

14. Suite For Solo Cello No. 6 In D Major, Bwv 1012: II. Allamande

15. Suite For Solo Cello No. 6 In D Major, Bwv 1012: III. Courante

16. Suite For Solo Cello No. 6 In D Major, Bwv 1012: IV. Sarabande

17. Suite For Solo Cello No. 6 In D Major, Bwv 1012: V. Gavotte 1 & 2

18. Suite For Solo Cello No. 6 In D Major, Bwv 1012: VI. Gigue

x

Track List: The Romantic Music Of Spain

1. Suite Populaire Espagnole

2. Fandanguillo

3. Amor Brujo: Ritual Fire Dance

4. Goyescas: Intermezzo

5. Andaluza

6. Malaguena

7. Requiebros

8. Dance Of The Green Devil

x

Track List: Starker Encore Album

1. Grave, From The Style Of W.F. Bach (Feat. Shuku Iwasaki)

2. Divertiment In D Major (Feat. Shuku Iwasaki)

3. The Swan (Feat. Shuku Iwasaki)

4. Moment Musical No. 3 (Feat. Shuku Iwasaki)

5. Prayer (Feat. Shuku Iwasaki)

6. Tarantelle (Feat. Shuku Iwasaki)

7. Arioso (Feat. Shuku Iwasaki)

8. Toccata (Feat. Shuku Iwasaki)

9. Abendlied (Feat. Shuku Iwasaki)

10. Adagio And Rondo (Feat. Shuku Iwasaki)

11. Traumerei (Feat. Shuku Iwasaki)

12. Rumanian Folk Dances (Feat. Shuku Iwasaki)

x

Track List: Janos Starker: Virtuoso Music For Cello

1. Sicilienne

2. Variations On One String On A Theme By Rossini: Moses Fantasie

3. Apres Un Reve

4. Hungarian Rhapsodie, Op. 68

5. 'Goyescas': Intermezzo

6. Danse Rituelle Du Feu

7. La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin

8. Piece En Forme De Habanera

9. 'The Barber Of Seville': Figaro

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