In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Laszlo Varga, Cellist and Inspiring Teacher

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Photo of Laszlo Varga

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- The eminent cellist Laszlo Varga died in Sarasota, Florida, after a lengthy illness on December 11, two days shy of his 90th birthday. He had had a great multiple career, first as the principal cellist with the New York Philharmonic from 1951 to 1962, then as a soloist and chamber performing and recording artist and finally as a teacher at San Francisco State University (where he also taught conducting and oversaw the chamber music program), the University of California at Santa Cruz, University of Toronto and University of Houston, from which he retired in 2000.

“Looking back, Mr. Varga was one of the exceptional influences who, through his impatience, joy, intolerance of mediocrity, discipline and love of art, taught me those things which last a lifetime — that music is a metaphor for life and as such must be cherished, respected, shared, and actively lived to its fullest every day,” said conductor Kent Nagano, one of Mr. Varga’s SF State students.