Music: Cloudborne Cellist

Among musicians, cellists are known as incurable sentimentalists. This quality is half-humorously assumed, partly because of the tightlipped, tear-laden whine the instrument so easily develops in its upper register, partly because of the overenthusiastic use of that register by romantic composers. One cellist who does not deserve the description is the Chicago Symphony's Budapest-born Janos Starker, 31, who is unsentimentally aware that he is one of the world's finest cellists.

He also knows why he gets so few chances to prove it to the public. "Concert managers tell you the cello is a little-liked...

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