After being in declining health for months, master cellist Janos Starker has died at 88 years old, the Associated Press reports. Alain Barker, spokesman for Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, confirms that Starker died at his home Sunday (April 28) surrounded by family members.
He was born in 1924 in Budapest, making his professional debut at age 14. The son of Jewish parents, Starker spent three months in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. He emigrated to the United States in 1948, playing for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, before joining New York’s Metropolitan Opera as principal cellist.
In 1958, Starker moved to Bloomington, Ind. and became a professor at Indiana University. He continued to give solo concerts, performing on every continent, and even won a Grammy Award in 1992 for a recording of Bach cello suites. Since 2001, he only performed occasional concerts, but continued to teach.