Isaac Stern

Isaac Stern

Infobox musical artist
Name = Isaac Stern

Img_size = 170
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name =
Born = July 21, 1920
Kremenetz, Ukraine
Died = September 22, 2001 (aged 81)
New York City, New York, USA
Instrument = Violin
Genre = Classical
Occupation = Violinist
Years_active =
Notable_instruments = Violin
"Kruse-Vormbaum Stradivarius" 1728
"ex-Stern" Bergonzi 1733
"Stern-Alard" Guarneri del Gesù 1737
Michele Angelo Bergonzi 1739-1757
"Ysaÿe" Guarneri del Gesù 1740
"Arma Senkrah" Guadagnini 1750
Giovanni Guadagnini 1754
J.B. Vuillaume copy of "Panette" Guarneri del Gesu 1737 (c.1850)
ex-"Nicolas I" J.B.Vuillaume 1840

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

He was renowned for his recordings and for discovering new musical talent.


He was born in Kremenetz, Ukraine, to Jewish parents. Stern was ten months old when his family moved to San Francisco. He received his first music lessons from his mother before enrolling at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1928 where he studied until 1931 before going on to study privately with Louis Persinger.cite news | work=The Guardian | url=,4273,4262950,00.html | title=Isaac Stern | author=K Robert Schwarz | accessdate=2006-10-10] He returned to the San Francisco Conservatory in 1932 to study with Naoum Blinder for five years. He said he owed the most to Blinder.cite web | title=Isaac Stern 1920–2001 | url= | publisher=The Musical Times] At his public début on February 18, 1936, aged 15, he played the "Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor" of Camille Saint-Saëns with the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Pierre Monteux.

Within musical circles, Stern became renowned both for his recordings and for championing certain younger players. Among his discoveries were cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Jian Wang, and violinists Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman. He also played a major role in saving New York City's Carnegie Hall from demolition in 1960 which later had its main auditorium named in his honor. [cite news | author= | title=Violinist Isaac Stern dies | url= | work=BBC News | date=23 Sep 2001 | accessdate=2007-07-21]

Among his many recordings, Stern recorded concertos by Johannes Brahms, Johann Sebastian Bach, Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn and Antonio Vivaldi and modern works by Samuel Barber, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein and Henri Dutilleux. The Dutilleux concerto, entitled "L'Arbre des Songes" ['The Tree of Dreams'] was a 1985 commission by Stern himself. He also dubbed actors' violin-playing in several films, one of which was "Fiddler on the Roof".

Stern served as musical advisor for the 1946 film, "Humoresque", about a rising violin star and his patron, played respectively by John Garfield and Joan Crawford.

Stern's favorite violin was the "Ysaÿe" Guarneri del Gesù, one of the violins produced by the Cremonese luthier Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù. [cite news | author=Jeff Bradley | title=Stern, Shostakovich, Gedda stories on shelves | url= | work=The Denver Post | date=5 Dec 1999 | accessdate=2007-07-21] He also owned several J.B.Vuillaume violins and two contemporary instruments by Samuel Zygmuntowicz.

In his autobiography written with Chaim Potok, "My First 79 Years", he cites Nathan Milstein and Arthur Grumiaux as major influences on his style of playing.

He won Grammys for his work with Eugene Istomin and Leonard Rose in their famous chamber music trio.

In 1979, eight years after Nixon made the first official visit by a US President to the country, the People's Republic of China offered Stern and pianist David Golub an unprecedented invitation to tour the country. Their visit was filmed and resulted in an Oscar-winning documentary "From Mao to Mozart".

In 1987, Stern received the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

His November 1948 marriage to ballerina Nora Kaye ended in divorce in 1949. On August 17 1951, Isaac married Vera Lindenblit. They had three children together. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1994 after 43 years of marriage. On January 23, 1997, Isaac married his third wife, Linda Reynolds, who survived him.

Isaac Stern died on September 22, 2001 of congestive heart failure at 81.


* Sonning Award (1982; Denmark)
* Wolf Prize
* Kennedy Center Honors (1984)
* Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist (with orchestra) (1962, 1963, 1965, 1982)
* Grammy Awards for Best Chamber Music Performance (1971, 1992)



*cite book | last=Stern | first=Isaac | coauthors=Chaim Potok | title=My First 79 Years | location=New York | publisher=Alfred A. Knopf | year=1999 | isbn=0679451307

External links

* [ Isaac Stern biography] at Sony Classical

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  • Isaac Stern — (* 21. Juli 1920 in Kremenez, Ukraine; † 22. September 2001 in New York) war einer der bedeutendsten Violinisten des 20. Jahrhunderts und zu seiner Zeit einer der gefragtesten Musiker der Welt. Stern zog mit seiner Familie bereits im Alter von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Isaac Stern — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Stern. Isaac Stern, né le 21 juillet 1920 à Kremenets (Ukraine) et mort le 22 septembre 2001 à New York, est un violoniste américain, l un des plus illustres représentants de la première génération de musiciens… …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Isaac Stern — ➡ Stern * * * …   Universalium

  • Stern (Familienname) — Stern ist ein Familienname. Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Stern (name) — Stern is a German family name, from the German word for star.People with the family name* Abraham Stern (1907 1942), founder and leader of Stern gang (Lehi) * Adolf Stern (1835 1907), German literary historian and poet * Adolf Stern (chess… …   Wikipedia

  • Stern Hall — is the name of several buildings, including:*A University of California, Berkeley dormitory Stern Hall (Berkeley) *An alternate name for Carnegie Hall s Isaac Stern Auditorium *A Dillard University science building, housing two academic divisions …   Wikipedia

  • Stern, Isaac — born July 21, 1920, Kremenets, Ukraine, Russian Empire died Sept. 22, 2001, New York, N.Y., U.S. Ukrainian born U.S. violinist. His family came to the U.S. when he was an infant. He first performed with the San Francisco Symphony in 1936, and he… …   Universalium

  • Stern — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom.  Pour l’article homophone, voir sterne. Stern désigne : Sommaire 1 …   Wikipédia en Français

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