Eugene Istomin

Biography

Born: November 26, 1925; New York, NY   Died: October 10, 2003  
American pianist Eugene Istomin, known more for his poise and refinement than for heaven-storming bravura, made himself an important figure both as a solo artist and as a chamber player of rare discretion and musicality. His trio with violinist Isaac Stern and cellist Leonard Rose was recognized for the directness and honesty of its interpretations, always heartfelt. As was true for other pianists, winning the Leventritt Award opened doors for Read more Istomin at a relatively early age. He returned from his first European tour in 1950 a well-established artist and continued to involve himself in music activities of high purpose.

Under the tutelage of Kiriena Siloti, Istomin was prepared for entry into the Curtis Institute where his instructors included such rigorous concert pianists as Mieczyslaw Horszowski and Rudolf Serkin. At 18, he won two important awards, both leading to appearances with orchestras ranking among America's top five. With the Philadelphia Youth Award, he won an engagement with the Philadelphia Orchestra directed by Eugene Ormandy. Istomin's performance of Chopin's Second Piano Concerto was awarded high praise by both the audience and critics. The more prestigious Leventritt Award resulted in a performance of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 with Artur Rodzinski and the New York Philharmonic, an occasion for which he won further accolades from listeners and press alike. With these two successes, offers from other major American orchestras followed and his career moved forward quickly as both an orchestral soloist and a recitalist. Performances with the Busch Chamber Players were applauded and his first recording, Bach's D minor Concerto played with the Busch ensemble, created something of a stir in chamber music circles.

Istomin's European tour of 1950 found him performing with major French orchestras and giving recitals in Switzerland and Italy. It also introduced him to the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades. For each of the following years, he appeared at the French festival, frequently together with the great cellist. Istomin was much appreciated by Casals, who pronounced him "destined for a great career." When Casals established a new festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the young pianist became one of its leading artists, once again proving himself a superior collaborator. Critic Howard Taubman described him as a "revelation," praising his singing tone and noting, "not once did he forget that he was part of an intimate chamber music group."

Once Istomin had completed his first European tour, subsequent trips were planned and he performed throughout Europe and America. In 1956, he embarked upon an extended junket to the Far East, giving some 30 concerts through the joint sponsorship of the Sangyo Keizai Shimbun and the American National Theatre and Academy's International Exchange Program. Once again, the reviews were enthusiastic as were the responses of audiences throughout the tour.

Istomin assembled the Istomin/Stern/Rose Trio in 1961, prevailing upon two colleagues with whom he felt an ease and musical kinship. The three made a number of praiseworthy recordings, concentrating on late Classical and Romantic-age composers. Several recording made during the Prades Festivals of the early 1950s have seen release on CD. Istomin also made recordings for the Reference label in the 1990s, all reflecting the pianist's thoughtful musicality and attention to detail.

Istomin's connection with Pablo Casals continued even after the cellist/humanitarian's death when, in 1975, the pianist married Casals' widow, Marta. Read less
Eugene Istomin: The Concerto & Solo Recordings
Release Date: 05/27/2016   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88875026172   Number of Discs: 12
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Browse 1-20 of 20 Available Recordings
  • 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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 2.
    Dvorak, Saint-Saens, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven & Brahms: Works for Cello / Rose
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 80389 Release Date: 07/01/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Rose,  Eugene Istomin,  Nadia Reisenberg
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Louis de Froment
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  Luxembourg Radio/Television Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $37.49
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  • 3.
    Eugene Istomin: The Concerto & Solo Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875026172 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin
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  • 4.
    The Menuhin Century: Live Performances & Festival Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555053 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Niccolň Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Eugene Istomin,  Pablo Casals,  Mieczyslaw Horszowski  ... 
    Conductor:  Georg Schnéevoigt,  Gary Bertini,  Edmond de Stoutz,  István Kertész  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Friends of Music Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Zurich Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    The Menuhin Century: Luxury Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555050 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 91
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $239.98
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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    Casals Edition - Mozart: Piano Concertos 27 & 14 / Horszowski
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 58984 Release Date: 01/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Mieczyslaw Horszowski,  Eugene Istomin,  Jennie Tourel
    Conductor:  Pablo Casals
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Perpignan Festival Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 10.
    The Essential Isaac Stern
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 728187 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Max Bruch  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Paul Tortelier,  Alexander Schneider  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Franz Liszt Academy Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $15.99
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  • 11.
    Istomin Stern Rose Trio / Beethoven, Brahms
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4337 Release Date: 06/07/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Eugene Istomin,  Leonard Rose
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 12.
    Brahms: Double Concerto / Walter, Francescatti, Fournier
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42024 Release Date: 05/20/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Zino Francescatti,  Pierre Fournier,  Eugene Istomin
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Bruno Walter Edition - Beethoven, Schumann: Piano Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64489 Release Date: 05/28/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin,  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 14.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos 21 & 24 / Istomin, Schwarz, Seattle
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 68 Release Date: 03/12/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 15.
    Isaac Stern - A Life In Music - Beethoven: Piano Trios
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64513 Release Date: 12/05/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Leonard Rose,  Isaac Stern,  Eugene Istomin
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  • 16.
    Beethoven: Piano Trios Op 70 & Op 97 / Istomin, Stern, Rose
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 53514 Release Date: 05/03/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Rose,  Eugene Istomin
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  • 17.
    Casals Edition - Beethoven: Piano Trios Op 70, Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 58991 Release Date: 02/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Pablo Casals,  Rudolf Serkin,  Eugene Istomin,  Alexander Schneider  ... 
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  • 18.
    Casals Edition - Schubert, Beethoven: Piano Trios
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 58988 Release Date: 02/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin,  Pablo Casals,  Joseph Fuchs,  Mieczyslaw Horszowski  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 19.
    Rorem: War Scenes, Songs, Dialogues / Gramm, Istomin
    Label: Phoenix Usa   Catalog: 116 Release Date: 01/20/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ned Rorem
    Performer:  Ned Rorem,  John Stewart,  Richard Cumming,  Anita Darian  ... 
    CD: $15.99
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  • 20.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Triple Concerto / Fleisher
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 46549 Release Date: 08/19/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher,  Eugene Istomin,  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Rose
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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