by ROBERT BATTEY (active Washington DC area cellist, teacher and writer)
János Starker’s all-embracing legacy is unique. No one impacted so many different facets of the art, craft, and literature of the cello, and no one gave so freely of himself to advance the cause of music at all levels.
As a solo artist, he was simply nonpareil. He traveled the globe scores of
times, appearing in the world’s great concert halls, and with the most
prestigious orchestras. His recording career spanned nearly half a century, and covered an astounding range of repertoire. Whether on stage or through
recordings, the technical and musical standards he upheld never once wavered or compromised. The standards of execution he set have quite simply changed the way we listen to the cello now, and what “virtuoso” playing means. His teaching generations of cellists will ensure that the principles and standards will be carried forward, and his many ancillary activities enriched and enlivened the musical life, in so many spheres, and will continue to do so as long as there are practitioners and aficionados of the cello.
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