- Isaac Stern
Infobox musical artist
Name = Isaac Stern
Img_size = 170
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
July 21, 1920 Kremenetz, Ukraine
September 22, 2001(aged 81) New York City, New York, USA
Genre = Classical
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 Musicin 1928 where he studied until 1931 before going on to study privately with Louis Persinger.cite news | work= The Guardian| url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4262950,00.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 Blinderfor five years. He said he owed the most to Blinder.cite web | title=Isaac Stern 1920–2001 | url=http://www.musicaltimes.co.uk/archive/0104/stern.html | 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-Saënswith the San Francisco Symphonyunder 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 Maand Jian Wang, and violinists Itzhak Perlmanand Pinchas Zukerman. He also played a major role in saving New York City's Carnegie Hallfrom demolition in 1960 which later had its main auditoriumnamed in his honor. [cite news | author= | title=Violinist Isaac Stern dies | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1559001.stm | 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 Mendelssohnand Antonio Vivaldiand modern works by Samuel Barber, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernsteinand 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 Garfieldand 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=http://extras.denverpost.com/books/music1205.htm | 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.
autobiographywritten with Chaim Potok, "My First 79 Years", he cites Nathan Milsteinand Arthur Grumiauxas major influences on his style of playing.
He won Grammys for his work with
Eugene Istominand Leonard Rosein 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 Goluban 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 Awardfor Lifetime Achievement.
His November 1948 marriage to
ballerina Nora Kayeended 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, 2001of congestive heart failureat 81.
Sonning Award(1982; Denmark)
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
* [http://www.sonyclassical.com/artists/stern/bio.html Isaac Stern biography] at
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