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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
Browse 1-25 of 39 Available Recordings
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  • 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.
    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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  • 3.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 4.
    Casals Edition - Mozart: Piano Concertos 27 & 14 / Horszowski
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 58984 Release Date: 01/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Mieczyslaw Horszowski,  Eugene Istomin,  Jennie Tourel
    Conductor:  Pablo Casals
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Perpignan Festival Orchestra
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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    Restored Masterworks - Pablo Casals 1953/1956
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 929 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Pablo Casals,  Rudolf Serkin,  Szymon Goldberg,  Sandor Végh  ... 
    On sale! $22.98
    CD: $19.99
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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    Expanded Edition - Schubert, Brahms, Bach / Stern, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 92740 Release Date: 07/27/2004   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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  • 10.
    Bach Festival, Prades 1950 / Casals, Szigeti, Wummer, Et Al
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 200 Release Date: 07/22/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  June Rotenberg,  Leopold Mannes,  Leopold Teraspulsky,  John Wummer  ... 
    Conductor:  Pablo Casals
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prades Festival Orchestra
    On sale! $34.98
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  • 11.
    Casals Festivals At Prades - Live Concert Performances
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1113 Release Date: 02/25/2003   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Milton Thomas,  Paul Tortelier,  Arthur Grumiaux,  William Kapell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Végh String Quartet
    On sale! $89.99
    CD: $78.49
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  • 12.
    The Casals Festivals Vol 3 - Mozart, Beethoven
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 174 Release Date: 08/27/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Pablo Casals,  Alexander Schneider,  Eugene Istomin,  Paul Tortelier  ... 
    On sale! $34.98
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  • 13.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Triple Concerto / Stern
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 89961 Release Date: 08/06/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin,  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Rose,  Leon Fleisher
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 14.
    Isaac Stern - In Tribute And Celebration
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89936 Release Date: 07/16/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Jaime Laredo,  Lin Cho-Liang,  Yo-Yo Ma  ... 
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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    Isaac Stern - My First 79 Years
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89049 Release Date: 10/19/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax,  Jaime Laredo  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Daniel Barenboim,  Eugene Ormandy,  Milton Katims  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    Isaac Stern - A Life In Music - Beethoven: Violin Sonatas
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64524 Release Date: 04/09/1996   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Eugene Istomin
    CD not available
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  • 19.
    Isaac Stern - A Life In Music - Sonatas
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 67196 Release Date: 04/09/1996   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Giuseppe Tartini,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Eugene Istomin,  Alexander Zakin,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Chamber Orchestra
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  • 20.
    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
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 21.
    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
    Recommendation
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  • 22.
    Isaac Stern - A Life In Music - Beethoven: Piano Trios
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64510 Release Date: 12/05/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Eugene Istomin,  Leonard Rose
    CD not available
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  • 23.
    Isaac Stern - A Life In Music - Brahms: Trios & Quartets
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64520 Release Date: 12/05/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax,  Jaime Laredo,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    CD not available
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  • 24.
    Isaac Stern - A Life In Music - Mendelssohn: Piano Trios
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64519 Release Date: 12/05/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Leonard Rose,  Isaac Stern,  Eugene Istomin
    CD not available
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  • 25.
    Isaac Stern - A Life In Music - Schubert, Haydn, Mozart
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64516 Release Date: 12/05/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin,  Leonard Rose,  Isaac Stern,  Milton Katims  ... 
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