Isaac Stern (21 July 1920 – 22 September 2001) was an American violinist.
The son of Solomon and Clara Stern, Isaac Stern was born in Kremenets, Poland (now Ukraine), into a Jewish family. He was 14 months old when his family moved to San Francisco in 1921. He received his first music lessons from his mother. In 1928, he enrolled at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied until 1931 before going on to study privately with Louis Persinger. He returned to the San Francisco Conservatory to study for five years with Naoum Blinder, to whom he said he owed the most. At his public début on 18 February 1936, aged 15, he played Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor with the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Pierre Monteux. Reflecting on his background, Stern once memorably quipped that cultural exchanges between the U.S. and Soviet Russia were simple affairs:
Stern toured the Soviet Union in 1951, the first American violinist to do so. In 1967, Stern stated his refusal to return to the USSR until the Soviet regime allowed artists to enter and leave the country freely. His only visit to Germany was in 1999, for a series of master classes, but he never performed publicly in Germany.
Stern was married three times. His first marriage, in 1948 to ballerina Nora Kaye, ended in divorce after 18 months, but the two of them subsequently remained friends. On 17 August 1951, he married Vera Lindenblit. They had three children together, including conductors Michael and David Stern. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1994 after 43 years. In 1996, Stern married his third wife, Linda Reynolds. His third wife, his three children, and his five grandchildren survived him.
Stern died 22 September 2001 of heart failure in a Manhattan, New York, hospital after an extended stay.
In 1940, Stern began performing with Russian-born pianist Alexander Zakin, collaborating until 1977. Within musical circles, Stern became renowned both for his recordings and for championing certain younger players. Among his discoveries were cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Jian Wang, and violinists Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman.
In the 1960s, he played a major role in saving New York City's Carnegie Hall from demolition, by organising the Citizens' Committee to Save Carnegie Hall. Following the purchase of Carnegie Hall by New York City, the Carnegie Hall Corporation was formed, and Stern was chosen as its first president, a title he held until his death. Carnegie Hall later named its main auditorium in his honor.
Among Stern's many recordings are concertos by Brahms, Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, and Vivaldi and modern works by Barber, Bartók, Stravinsky, Bernstein, Rochberg, and 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, such as 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 Garfield and Joan Crawford. He was also the featured violin soloist on the soundtrack for the 1971 film of Fiddler on the Roof. In 1999, he appeared in the film Music of the Heart, along with Itzhak Perlman and several other famed violinists, with a youth orchestra led by Meryl Streep (the film was based on the true story of a gifted violin teacher in Harlem who eventually took her musicians to play a concert in Carnegie Hall).
|Interview with Stern on My First 79 Years, 26 October 1999, C-SPAN|
|Booknotes interview with Stern on My First 79 Years, 23 January 2000, C-SPAN|
He won Grammys for his work with Eugene Istomin and Leonard Rose in their famous chamber music trio in the 1960s and '70s, while also continuing his duo work with Alexander Zakin during this time. Stern recorded a series of piano quartets in the 1980s and 1990s with Emanuel Ax, Jaime Laredo and Yo-Yo Ma, including those of Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann and Fauré, winning another Grammy in 1992 for the Brahms quartets Opp. 25 and 26.
In 1979, seven years after Richard Nixon made the first official visit by a US President to the country, the People's Republic of China offered Stern and pianist David Golub an unprecedented invitation to tour the country. While there, he collaborated with the China Central Symphony Society (now China National Symphony) under the direction of conductor Li Delun. Their visit was filmed and resulted in the Oscar-winning documentary, From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China.
Stern maintained close ties with Israel. Stern began performing in the country in 1949. In 1973, he performed for wounded Israeli soldiers during the Yom Kippur War. During the 1991 Gulf War and Iraq's Scud missile attacks on Israel, he played in the Jerusalem Theater. During his performance, an air raid siren sounded, causing the audience to panic. Stern then stepped onto the stage and began playing a movement of Bach. The audience then calmed down, donned gas masks, and sat throughout the rest of his performance. Stern was a supporter of several educational projects in Israel, among them the America-Israel Foundation and the Jerusalem Music Center.
Stern's favorite instrument was the Ysaÿe Guarnerius, one of the violins produced by the Cremonese luthier Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù. It had previously been played by the violin virtuoso and composer Eugène Ysaÿe.
Among other instruments, Stern played the "Kruse-Vormbaum" Stradivarius (1728), the "ex-Stern" Bergonzi (1733), the "Panette" Guarneri del Gesù (1737), a Michele Angelo Bergonzi (1739–1757), the "Arma Senkrah" Guadagnini (1750), a Giovanni Guadagnini (1754), a J. B. Vuillaume copy of the "Panette" Guarneri del Gesu of 1737 (c.1850), and the "ex-Nicolas I" J.B. Vuillaume (1840). He also owned two contemporary instruments by Samuel Zygmuntowicz.and modern Italian Jago peternella Violins.
In 2001, Stern's collection of instruments, bows and musical ephemera was sold through Tarisio Auctions. The May 2003 auction set a number of world records and was at the time the second highest grossing violin auction of all time, with total sales of over $3.3M.
The 24th Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 24, 1982, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, and were broadcast live on American television. The event recognized the accomplishments of musicians during the year 1981. Quincy Jones was the major recipient of awards with a total of five Grammys.The much coveted Album of the Year award went to Jack Douglas, John Lennon and Yoko Ono for Double Fantasy, and Song of the Year went to Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon for "Bette Davis Eyes".Calcutta School of Music
The Calcutta School of Music established in 1915 by Phillipe Sandre is one of the premier institutions of India, in the field of Western Classical music and Contemporary classical music. It was established in the year 1915 by Phillipé Sandré, a musician of considerable calibre, and a contemporary and friend of the famous composer Saint-Saëns. It has a wide ranging canvas of musical disciplines covering both Indian and Western music, dance, speech training, elocution, and drama. The School is an important element of the city of Kolkata, providing liberal instruction in musical subjects on one hand, and also arranging orchestral, chamber and solo music training and concerts, as well as music appreciation sessions throughout the year. Many visiting luminaries of the musical world have visited the School throughout its existence. this include maestros Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern and Mstislav Rostropovich. The great sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar inaugurated the faculty of Indian Music & Dance during the year 1975.Carmel Quartet
The Carmel Quartet is a string quartet based in Israel. The quartet curates and self-produces its flagship lecture-presentation series "Strings and More" which features great chamber works given within a historic and literary context.
Members of the quartet are Rachel Ringelstein and Tali Goldberg, violins, Yoel Greenberg viola, and Tami Waterman, cello.
The Carmel Quartet performed and recorded quartets by Israeli composers Paul Ben-Haim, Erich Walter Sternberg, Josef Tal, Yinam Leef, Noam Sheriff, Gideon Lewensohn, Carmel Raz and Uri Netanel, and it has given world- and Israeli premieres, including works by Yehezkel Braun, Menachem Zur, Ben-Haim, Yinam Leef, and Uri Brener.
The Carmel Quartet has performed with internationally renowned musicians such as violinists Gidon Kremer and Nikolai Znaider, violist Tabea Zimmermann, pianists Ian Fountain and Penina Salzman, guitarist Emanuele Segre and cantor Alberto Mizrahi.
The quartet has performed in England, Austria, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, and China, and throughout Israel. Of its debut in Carnegie Hall, New York, in November 2004, New York Times critic Allan Kozinn wrote, "At its best, the group played with precision, drive and unity of purpose."Founded in 1999, the quartet has won awards in a number of prestigious competitions, including first prize in the "Prague-Vienna-Budapest" international competition in Austria, and the Israeli Aviv competition for chamber music and performance of an Israeli work in 2004. The quartet has studied with members of the Alban Berg Quartet, Isaac Stern, Miriam Fried, and Rivka Golani.Carmen Fantasie (Waxman)
Carmen Fantasie is a virtuoso showpiece for violin and orchestra. The piece is part of Franz Waxman's score to the 1946 movie Humoresque for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. The music, based on various themes from Georges Bizet's opera Carmen and unrelated (although somewhat similar in structure) to the similarly titled work Carmen Fantasy by Pablo de Sarasate, was initially meant to be played by Jascha Heifetz. However, he was replaced by a young Isaac Stern for the film's recording of the score. Stern's hands can be seen in the close-up shots from the movie.
After seeing the film, Heifetz asked Waxman to expand the work because he wanted to play it on the radio program, The Bell Telephone Hour, where it premiered on 9 September 1946. The work has been played since by many virtuoso violinists in concerts. It has also been adapted for a variety of orchestral/chamber arrangements, such as a versions for trumpet and orchestra, for violin and piano, as well as for viola and piano/orchestra.Eugene Istomin
Eugene George Istomin (November 26, 1925 – October 10, 2003) was an American pianist. He was famous for his work in a piano trio in which he collaborated with Isaac Stern and Leonard Rose.Isaac Stern House
The Isaac Stern House was a mansion located on 858 Fifth Avenue in the Upper East Side in New York City. Ir was designed by Cady, Berg and See and constructed for the entrepreneur Isaac Stern.Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award
The Tree of Life Award is the highest humanitarian award the Jewish National Fund presents to one individual or family each year in appreciation of their outstanding community involvement, their dedication to the cause of American-Israeli friendship, and their devotion to peace and the security of human life. The award recognizes leaders of achievements and innovations in industry, government and education. Past awardees have included individuals who have made diverse contributions from Isaac Stern, to Arthur G. Cohen, Donald Trump and Susan Polgar. Past
presenters of the award have included Margaret Thatcher and Shimon Peres.Jian Wang (cellist)
Jian Wang began to study the cello with his father when he was four. At the age of ten, while a student at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, he was featured in the celebrated documentary film From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China. Mr. Stern's encouragement and support paved the way for him to go to the United States and in 1985 he entered the Yale School of Music under a special programme where he studied with the renowned cellist Aldo Parisot. After graduating from Yale in 1988, he entered with full scholarship Juilliard School.
Jian Wang has performed with many of the worlds leading orchestras, including Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, Chicago and Boston Symphonies, London Symphony, the Halle, the BBC orchestras, Zurich Tonhalle, Gothenburg Symphony, Stockholm Philharmonic, Santa Cecilia, La Scala, Mahler Chamber, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Czech Philhamonic, and NHK Symphony. These concerts have been with many of the greatest conductors, such as Abbado, Sawallisch, Jarvi, Chailly, Dutoit, Eschenbach, Chung, Gilbert, Van Zweden and Gustavo Dudamel. As a jury member, Jian Wang has judged many of the most important competitions, including the Tchaikovsky cello competition, the Queen Elizabeth cello competition, the Isaac Stern violin competition and the Nielsen violin competition.
Jian Wang has made many recordings, his latest releases being the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Sydney Symphony and Vladimir Ashkenazy. He has also recorded an album of short pieces for Cello and Guitar titled Reverie, the complete Bach Cello Suites and a Baroque Album with the Camerata Salzburg, Brahms Double Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Claudio Abbado and Gil Shaham, the Haydn Concerti with the Gulbenkian Orchestra under Muhai Tang, Messiaens Quartet for the End of Time (with Myung-Whun Chung, Gil Shaham and Paul Meyer) and Brahms, Mozart and Schumann chamber music with Pires and Dumay. His instrument is graciously loaned to him by the family of the late Mr. Sau-Wing Lam.L'arbre des songes
L'arbre des songes (The Tree of Dreams) is a violin concerto written by Henri Dutilleux between 1983 and 1985. It is dedicated to Isaac Stern.
This concerto is the result of the composer's efforts in unifying large-scale works. The process of unification appears on two interrelated levels: form and thematic development.According to the composer, it is based on a process of continual growth and renewal (hence the title): "All in all the piece grows somewhat like a tree, for the constant multiplication and renewal of its branches is the lyrical essence of the tree. This symbolic image, as well as the notion of a seasonal cycle, inspired my choice of 'L'arbre des songes' as the title of the piece."Leonard Rose
Leonard Joseph Rose (July 27, 1918 – November 16, 1984) was an American cellist and pedagogue.
Rose was born in Washington, D.C.; his parents were immigrants from Kiev, Ukraine. Rose took lessons from Walter Grossman, Frank Miller and Felix Salmond and after completing his studies at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music at age 20, he joined Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony Orchestra, and almost immediately became associate principal. At 21 he was principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra and at 26 was the principal of the New York Philharmonic.
He made many recordings as a soloist after 1951, including concertos with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, George Szell and Bruno Walter among others. Rose also joined with Isaac Stern and Eugene Istomin in a celebrated piano trio.
Rose's legacy as a teacher remains to this day: his students from the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute and Ivan Galamian's Meadowmount Summer School fill the sections of many American orchestras, notably those of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. His pupils include Lori Singer, Raymond Davis, Desmond Hoebig, Peter Stumpf, Fred Sherry, Christopher von Baeyer, Myung-wha Chung, Patrick Sohn Thomas Demenga, Stephen Kates, Lynn Harrell, Yehuda Hanani, Hans Jørgen Jensen, Steven Honigberg, Eric Kim, Roger Drinkall, Robert deMaine, Bruce Uchimura, Donald Whitton, Yo-Yo Ma, Ronald Leonard, Steven Pologe, Sara Sant'Ambrogio, Matt Haimovitz, Richard Hirschl, John Sant’Ambrogio, and Marijane Carr Siegal. See: List of music students by teacher: A to B#Leonard Rose.
He played an Amati cello dated 1662, played today by Gary Hoffman.
Rose died in White Plains, New York, of leukemia.
In November 2009, a memorial marker was placed for Rose in the Mt. Ararat Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York, next to the grave of his first wife, Minnie Knopow Rose, who died in 1964. Minnie and Leonard met at Curtis, where she studied viola.
His second wife was Xenia Petschek, whom he married in January 1965. Xenia Rose died in 2002.Nancy Zhou
Nancy Zhou (born January 5, 1993) is an American classical violinist. She has performed as a soloist in recital and with orchestras throughout the world. Zhou has been a prizewinner in several major competitions, including first prizes in the 2018 Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition and the 2018 International Music Competition Harbin.Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition
The Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition (SISIVC) is a biennial violin competition in commemoration of violinist Isaac Stern, which takes place in Shanghai, China. The inaugural competition took place August–September 2016 offering $100,000 as the first place prize, the largest single cash prize ever in an international violin competition.Sony Classical Records
Sony Classical Records (also known simply as Sony Classical) is an American record label founded in 1924 as Columbia Masterworks Records, a subsidiary of Columbia Records. In 1948, it issued the first commercially successful long-playing 12" record. Over the next decades its artists included Isaac Stern, Pablo Casals, Glenn Gould, Eugene Ormandy, Danny Elfman, Vangelis, Elliot Goldenthal, Leonard Bernstein and John Williams. Columbia Records used the Masterworks brand name not only for classical and Broadway records, but also for spoken-word albums such as Edward R. Murrow and Fred W. Friendly's successful I Can Hear It Now series. Parent CBS also featured the Masterworks name on its consumer electronics equipment.
In 1980, the Columbia Masterworks label was renamed as CBS Masterworks Records, but in 1990, after CBS Records was acquired by Sony, it was renamed Sony Classical Records; its logo echoes the "Magic Notes" logo that was Columbia's emblem until 1954. During the 1990s, the label attracted controversy under the leadership of Peter Gelb, as it emphasized crossover music over mainstream classical releases, failing to make available much of its archive of great recordings. Going "back to the future", the Masterworks name lives on in its series of Broadway cast albums released through Masterworks Broadway Records, and as the name of Sony Music Entertainment's classical music division, Sony Masterworks. The Sony Classical label is listed today as a sister label of Masterworks.Steven Epstein (music producer)
Steven Epstein is an American record producer. He has won fifteen Grammy Awards, two Latin Grammys, and nominated 35 times. He has won Grammy Awards for Classical Producer of the Year seven times. While he is primarily known for his work in classical music, Epstein has Grammy nominations and wins for albums in musical theater, musical show, crossover, soundtrack, and spoken word for children.He has worked with Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis (classical and jazz), Plácido Domingo, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Murray Perahia, Emanuel Ax, Bobby McFerrin, Juilliard String Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, Fine Arts Quartet, and Punch Brothers. He has worked with the Vienna, Berlin and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, and with the Chicago, Cleveland, London, Concertgebouw, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles Symphony Orchestras.The Carnegie Hall Concert (Keith Jarrett album)
The Carnegie Hall Concert is a live solo piano album by the American pianist Keith Jarrett which was released on the ECM label in 2006. It was recorded in concert on September 26, 2005, at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, New York City.Vadim Gluzman
Vadim Gluzman (Вадим Михайлович Глузман, born 1973) is a Ukrainian-born Israeli classical violinist.
Born in the former Soviet Union, Vadim Gluzman spent most of his childhood in Riga, Latvia. His father is a conductor and clarinet player, and his mother a musicologist. Gluzman began violin studies at age 7. He studied with Roman Šnē in Latvia and Zakhar Bron in Russia. In 1990, his family moved to Israel, where he became a student of Yair Kless. He also met Isaac Stern who became an important mentor. In the United States, Gluzman's teachers were Arkady Fomin and, at the Juilliard School, Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki. Early in his career, Gluzman enjoyed the encouragement and support of Isaac Stern. In 1994, he received the Henryk Szeryng Foundation Career Award.Gluzman plays a 1690 Stradivarius violin known as the "Ex-Leopold Auer" (after its previous owner, Hungarian violinist Leopold Auer). It is on extended loan from the Stradivari Society of Chicago.Vadim Gluzman has performed with many of the world's leading orchestras including Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and NHK Symphony. He has recorded or performed live the premieres of works by Giya Kancheli, Peteris Vasks, Lera Auerbach (24 Preludes, recorded on BIS), and Sofia Gubaidulina. Gluzman also serves as the Creative Partner and Principal Guest Artist for ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio.His recording of Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 (BIS) was awarded a Diapason d'Or in 2011.Violin Concerto No. 1 (Davies)
The Violin Concerto No. 1 is the first violin concerto by the British composer Peter Maxwell Davies. It was commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to commemorate the ensemble's 40th anniversary. The work was completed in 1985 and first performed at the St Magnus Festival by the violinist Isaac Stern and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by André Previn on 21 June 1986. The piece is dedicated to Isaac Stern.
Awards for Isaac Stern