Cellists: The Sad Hero

One of the hard realities of launching a concert career in the U.S. is the necessity of a recital, preferably in Manhattan's hallowed Carnegie Hall, the cost of which—anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000— must be footed by the artist. But when Budapest-born Janos Starker first came to America at the age of 24, he flatly refused "the social degradation of having to pay to be heard. I will only play where people are sufficiently interested to pay to hear me."

Treasure Unearthed. He had to wait 16 years, but last week an interested audience gladly paid to hear Starker, one of...

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