Isaac Stern

Biography

Born: July 21, 1920; Russia   Died: September 22, 2001; USA  
Isaac Stern was among the most distinguished of the world's violinists. He achieved a strong rapport with his audience through his own personality and his visible love for the music, with an unerring command of the proper style for each work in his exceptionally wide repertoire. His technique was impeccable, his tone strong and warm, though not rich. He performed and recorded virtually the entire standard violin repertoire, including most of the Read more many great violin concertos of the 1930s: those of Hindemith, Berg, Prokofiev (No. 2), Walton, Bartok (No. 2) and other works, some quite contemporary. His repertoire extended at least from Vivaldi to Dutilleux. Stern also dubbed on-screen appearances by actors impersonating violinists; his films include Humoresque, Tonight We Sing, and Fiddler on the Roof.
Stern's family moved to the United States and settled in San Francisco when he was one year old. His mother, a professional singer, gave him his first music lessons. He began studying the violin at the San Francisco Conservatory in 1928. In 1932 he became the third immensely talented San Francisco-area boy to train with the San Francisco Symphony concertmaster Louis Persinger (the others were Menuhin and Ruggiero Ricci). However, he considered Naoum Blinder, with whom he studied until the age of 15, his only true teacher. Stern made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony on February 18, 1936, with Pierre Monteux conducting the Third Concerto by Saint-Saëns. After his New York debut in 1937, he returned to San Francisco for further study. He re-entered concert life on February 18, 1939, again giving a recital in New York. Soon he was one of the leading American violinists, particularly noticed for his young age, and his January 8, 1943, recital at Carnegie Hall (his first solo performance there) was a smash hit.
In 1943 and 1944 Stern entertained American troops in Iceland, Greenland, and the South Pacific. After the war he toured Australia in 1947, and made his first trip to Europe in 1948. He played at Pablo Casals' Prades Festival from 1950-1952, and the Edinburgh Festival in 1953. His tour of the U.S.S.R. in 1956 was an early sign of one of the recurrent thaws in the Cold War. In 1960 he formed a durable trio with pianist Eugene Istomin and cellist Leonard Rose; the group played the complete trio literature by Beethoven in bicentennial celebrations of the composer's birth. He recorded mostly for Columbia (which subsequently became CBS, then Sony Classics), with major orchestras and conductors, with the Stern-Rose-Istomin Trio, and in sonata and other duet repertory with his regular partner, Alexander Zakin. He made several appearances at the White House.
In the late 1950s, when the City of New York planned the construction of the Lincoln Center complex, it became clear that the plans as they stood would entail the destruction of the old Metropolitan Opera house and of Carnegie Hall. The latter, one of the finest concert halls in the world acoustically, was saved for posterity by the actions of a group Stern formed in 1960. Stern was chosen president of the Carnegie Hall Corporation, formed to supervise the artistic program of the great concert hall. He also was involved in the formation of the U.S. National Endowment of the Arts, and was appointed to its initial advisory board. He served as chairman of the board of the American-Israel Cultural Foundation, which aids the careers of young musicians. Stern, among other honors, was named Officer of the Légion d'honneur of France. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 90 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Beethoven: Triple Concerto - Brahms: Double Concerto
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 8047 Release Date: 07/01/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin,  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Rose
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Great Moments at Carnegie Hall (Selected Highlights)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 530420 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Paul de Schlözer,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Ronald Turini,  Artur Rubinstein,  Jorge Bolet,  Van Cliburn  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Arturo Toscanini,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra of St. Luke's
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  • 3.
    Great Moments at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 503227 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 43
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Roy Harris,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Jussi Björling,  Frederick Schauwecker,  Van Cliburn  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Serge Koussevitzky,  Bruno Walter,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
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  • 4.
    Eugene Ormandy conducts Sibelius
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88875108582 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Dylana Jenson,  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra Chorus,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir
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  • 5.
    Stravinsky conducts Stravinsky: Symphonies and Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875126242 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Benny Goodman,  Philippe Entremont,  Charles Rosen,  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Igor Stravinsky,  Robert Craft
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  CBC Symphony Orchestra,  Festival Singers of Toronto  ... 
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  • 6.
    Igor Stravinsky: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 502616 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 57
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Various
    Performer:  Roger Sessions,  Aaron Copland,  Lukas Foss,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Stravinsky,  Gregg Smith
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  CBC Symphony Orchestra,  American Concert Choir  ... 
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  • 7.
    Yo-Yo Ma: The Classical Cello Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 513074 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Luigi Boccherini,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Ton Koopman,  Emanuel Ax,  Edgar Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Ton Koopman,  Claudio Abbado,  Kurt Masur,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $47.99
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  • 8.
    Itzhak Perlman - Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002298802 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Igor Stravinsky,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Myor Rosen  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Daniel Barenboim,  Zubin Mehta,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
    CD: $108.49
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  • 9.
    Isaac Stern plays Brahms
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88843061362 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Rose,  Eugene Istomin,  Yo-Yo Ma  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Eugene Ormandy,  Milton Katims
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    100 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002188102 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theater Violin Ensemble,  Ansbach Bach Week Soloists Union,  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 11.
    Pierre Boulez: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301333 Release Date: 11/24/2014   Number of Discs: 67
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Alexander Scriabin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Dönch,  Isabel Strauss,  Walter Berry,  Fritz Uhl  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Anton Webern
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Camerata Singers,  Schola Cantorum New York  ... 
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  • 12.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Mozart: The Piano Quartets / Ax, Stern, Ma, Laredo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56121 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Emanuel Ax,  Jaime Laredo,  Yo-Yo Ma
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  • 14.
    Schubert, Boccherini: String Quintets / Stern, Lin, Laredo, Ma, Robinson
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56118 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Luigi Boccherini
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Lin Cho-Liang,  Jaime Laredo,  Yo-Yo Ma  ... 
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  • 15.
    Claudio Abbado: The Complete RCA & Sony Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 304505 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Abbado,  Murray Perahia,  Anatoly Kotcherga,  Midori  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 16.
    Schubert: Piano Trio No 1; Brahms: String Sextet No 2; Bach / Isaac Stern
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56158 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Leonard Rose,  Isaac Stern,  Eugene Istomin,  Lin Cho-Liang  ... 
    Conductor:  Isaac Stern
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Franz Liszt Academy Chamber Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Shostakovich: Trio Op 67, Cello Sonata / Ax, Stern, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55628 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma
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  • 18.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 1-9, Overtures... / Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7683912 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 19.
    Isaac Stern Plays Mozart
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5429342 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Pinchas Zukerman
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Alexander Schneider,  Daniel Barenboim,  Jean-Pierre Rampal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra members  ... 
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  • 20.
    Itzhak Perlman - Concertos, Sonatas & more...
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5438882 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Erich Leinsdorf,  André Previn,  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 21.
    Dvorak: Piano Quartet, Romantic Pieces, Sonatina / Ax, Stern, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56141 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Jaime Laredo,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma  ... 
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  • 22.
    Isaac Stern plays Beethoven
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 826772 Release Date: 01/01/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Eugene Istomin,  Leonard Rose
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Eugene Ormandy,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Berg, Bartok: Violin Concertos / Stern, Bernstein, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350099 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Alban Berg
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 24.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Bartok: Violin Concerto No 2 / Stern
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95624 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Lalo: Le Roi d'Ys Overture; Symphony Espagnole; Concerto Russe
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350094 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edouard Lalo
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Gérard Poulet
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