Sad news: Cancer claims Janos Starker’s daughter

Sad news: Cancer claims Janos Starker’s daughter


norman lebrecht

January 21, 2020

The son of Gabriella Starker-Saxe has confirmed her death from cancer.

Gabriella was Janos Starker’s only child from his first marriage.

She lived in Toronto, had a career with the US State Department and worked with children with autism. At Starker’s 75th birthday, ‘she described a father who demanded the utmost precision and clarity in her words when speaking with him.’

Starker died in 2013.

A month ago, Gabriella posted:  I usually keep my sharing to the happy stuff, whether it be joy with music or JP or travels. It’s hard to share the sadder side of things, but there comes a time when it’s impossible not to. I don’t want those I love to be in the dark about where I’m at and my cancer prognosis is not looking good… I’m being well taken care of and I love you all


  • John Marks says:

    How terrible. My heart goes out to her family.

    I did not know her, but years ago I heard a very sweet story about her tut-tutting her father back in the green room after a masterclass.

    It seems that during the question part of the masterclass, a student in the audience asked Starker whether he ate before a performance.

    Upon being told yes, the student then requested specifics, to which Starker replied, “Sandwich.” Upon being asked for more specifics, the answer came back, “Turkey sandwich.”

    Whereas in the green room, the daughter said to the father, “Why did you say those things to that student? You never eat before a concert, and you hate turkey!”

    Starker’s timeless reply to her: “Stupid question, stupid answer.”

    R.I.P. them both.

    john marks

  • Alexander Tarak says:

    My sympathies to her family.

  • Eva Szekely says:

    RIP Gabriella Starker-Saxe. A lovely lady and devoted daughter of her beloved father. Heartfelt condolences to Gabriella’s family and friends.

  • Amy Hazelrigg says:

    Oh, what terrible news this is! Gabriella and I were best buds in Bloomington, IN many years ago. I cared deeply for her and am so grateful for the giggly, mischievous times we shared. I once remarked to my mother that had Gabriella and I become acquainted when we were much younger, we’d probably have wound up in jail! I would have provided ideas for naughtiness, she the guts to put them into action. Robert, my best to you.

  • Mary Johnson says:

    What terrible news. I was about to write to Gabriella to ask how she, Robert, and J.P. were doing in this time of coronavirus, but this is awful news. I knew Gabriella because I was her father’s press agent for more than 20 years, and considered her a friend. Robert, I am so sorry to hear that she is gone.

  • PAUL A. BIEGUN says:

    I knew Gaby at LakeView High in Chicago. I gave her a ride home on my motorcycle mostly everyday. I loved her and always will. Paul