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 1-5 of 5 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    Yo-Yo Ma - 30 Years Outside the Box
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 752307 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 90
    Composer:  Sandeep Das,  Traditional,  Kayhan Kalhor,  Zhou Long  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Gramley,  Kim Dong-Won,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Mark Suter  ... 
    Conductor:  Miguel Harth-Bedoya,  John T. Williams,  Ennio Morricone,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Qi Lin  ... 
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  • 3.
    The Essential Isaac Stern
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 728187 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Edouard Lalo,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Rose,  Eugene Istomin,  Robert McDonald  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Milton Katims,  Frank Brieff,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 4.
    Expanded Edition - J.s. Bach / Stern, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 92732 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Itzhak Perlman,  John Steele Ritter,  Jean-Pierre Rampal  ... 
    Conductor:  Isaac Stern,  Alexander Schneider,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra members,  English Chamber Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 5.
    Celebration: A Life With Music / Isaac Stern
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42003 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ernest Bloch  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Alexander Zakin,  Eugene Istomin,  Leonard Rose  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Waxman,  Isaac Stern,  Daniel Barenboim,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia String Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $61.49
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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
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in C Major, Hob. VIIa: I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagio
III. Finale. Presto
I. Allegro
II. Largo
III. Allegro
Concerto for Violin, Strings and Continuo in G minor, RV 315 "L'estate": I. Allegro non molto
II. Adagio
III. Presto
Concerto for Violin, Strings and Continuo in F Major, RV 293 "L'autunno": I. Allegro
II. Adagio molto
III. Allegro
Concerto for Violin, Strings and Continuo in F minor, RV 297 "L'inverno": I. Allegro non molto
II. Largo
III. Allegro
Concerto No. 1 in C Major for Violin and String Orchestra, VIIa:1: I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagio
III. Finale. Presto
Concerto in A minor for Violin and Orchestra, BWV 1041: I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegro assai
Concerto No. 1 in C Major for Violin and String Orchestra, VIIa:1: I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagio
III. Finale. Presto