World War II

Laszlo Varga, Cellist for the New York Philharmonic, is Dead at 89

Laszlo Varga, Cellist for the New York Philharmonic, is Dead at 89 by Bruce Weber and Jacob Burg Reposted from the Herald-Tribune Laszlo Varga, a Hungarian-born musician and teacher who escaped a Nazi work camp to become principal cellist for the New York Philharmonic under the batons of Dimitri Mitropoulos and Leonard Bernstein, died on Dec. 11 at his home in Sarasota, Fla. He was 89. He died several days after a fall had precipitated a stroke, his son Michael said. In a long career, Mr. Varga applied his virtuosic skills to solo performances, orchestral playing and ensemble work. As a young man he lost his position as first-chair cellist of the Budapest Symphony in a purge of Jews. He came to the United States after World War II as a member [...]

Remembering Hungarian Cello Master Janos Starker – By Benjamin Ivry*

Having survived a Nazi internment camp during World War II, Hungarian Jewish cellist János Starker (1924-2013) led a life focused on civic contributions and behaving with utter freedom. Starker, who died in Indiana on April 28 at age 88, witnessed some of the worst horrors of modern history, and was determined to devote himself to constructing the future. He and his parents, of Polish-Ukrainian Jewish origin, survived their imprisonment, but his two older brothers Tibor and Ede, both accomplished violinists, were murdered in Nazi labor camps. […]