Isaac Stern

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Isaac Stern (July 21, 1920 – September 22, 2001) was an American violinist.

Isaac Stern
Stern at his 60th birthday concert at Lincoln Center, 1980
Stern at his 60th birthday concert at Lincoln Center, 1980
Background information
BornJuly 21, 1920
DiedSeptember 22, 2001
Years active1936-2001

Early life[change | change source]

Isaac Stern was born in Kremenets, Poland (now Ukraine) to a Jewish family. In 1921, When Stern was over a year old, his family moved to San Franciso. At age 8, he began studies at San Francisco Conservatory of Music until 193. Later he would study under Louis Persinger. He returned to the conservatory under Naoum Blinder.

Stern debuted with the San Francisco Symphony at age 15 and played Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor.

Performances[change | change source]

He performed for soldiers during World War 2 and performed in USSR in 1951. During the Yom Kippur War, he would give a concert for wounded Israelis soldiers. A notable concert was in 1991 during the Gulf War. Stern was playing a Bach piece in Jerusalem, when sirens sounded the alarm of an air raid. Although the audience was frightened, Stern continued to play and the audience just listened to the rest of the concert with gas masks.[1] Stern was also a cultural ambassador.

Stern performed frequently with the New York Philharmonic. He prevented Carnegie Hall from be taken down by campaigning and raising money for the building.[2]

Stern would come to learn other musicians: Yo-Yo Ma, Jian Wang, Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman.

Movies[change | change source]

Stern also contributed to movies. He was the soloist for the film Fiddler on the Roof (1971). He was also the music advisor for the film Humoresque (1946).

Discography[change | change source]

Stern's discography includes works by Brahms, Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, Barber, Bartók, Stravinsky, Bernstein, Rochberg, and Dutilleux.

Instruments[change | change source]

Stern enjoyed playing Ysaÿe Guarnerius, a violin made by the luthier Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù. Other instruments he played included "Kruse-Vormbaum" Stradivarius (1728),, the "Panette" Guarneri del Gesù (1737), the "ex-Stern" Bergonzi (1733), a Michele Angelo Bergonzi (1739–1757), the "Arma Senkrah" Guadagnini (1750), a Giovanni Guadagnini (1754) and others.

Awards[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Archives". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2022-06-06.
  2. "Violinist Isaac Stern dies". 2001-09-23. Retrieved 2022-06-06.