People think that Isaac Stern was one of the best violinists of the 20th century. During his career, this musician, who was born in Poland, won several Grammy awards. He developed special bonding with Israel developed due to his several performances in the country. He played there even when there was a war in the Persian Gulf. Together with pianist Eugene Istomin and cellist Leonard Rose, he made a piano trio and recorded all of Beethoven’s and Brahms’ trios. Isaac played music for American soldiers during World War II. After the war, he was the first American violinist to play in the Soviet Union. He got the Kennedy Center Honours Award for his contributions to American culture. Stern went to China in 1979 and worked with the China Central Symphony Society, which is now called the China National Symphony. The group was led by Li Delun. The visit of Stern was filmed into Oscar-wining documentary ‘From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China’.
Early years and childhood
Isaac Stern grew up in Krzemieniec with a Jewish family (formerly a part of Poland but now a city of Western Ukraine). When he was only 14 months old, his family moved to San Francisco, which is in the United States.
His mother was a professional singer and taught him how to play music. When he was very young, he learned to play the piano and the violin.
In 1928, he went to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and took classes there until 1931. After that, he took private lessons from the American violinist and pianist Louis Persinger. After that, he went back to the San Francisco Conservatory and spent five years studying music with Naoum Blinder. During this time, he started to become interested in chamber music.
Isaac Stern’s Career
In February 1936, he played Saint-Violin Sans’s Concerto No. 3 in B minor, which was led by the French conductor Pierre Monteux. He played the Tchaikovsky concerto in Los Angeles with Otto Klemperer as the conductor.
When he played at Carnegie Hall in January 1943, he got a lot of attention. This show was a huge hit, and it helped him become a well-known musician of the time. In the same year, he played for Dimitri Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
From 1943 to 1944, he also performed for American troops in Iceland, Greenland, and the South Pacific.
He worked for Columbia records in 1945. The next year was a turning point in his musical career because a Hollywood movie called “Humoresque” asked him to play violin for it. The movie is about a young violinist with whom he had both personal and professional connections.
Because of how well he did in Humoresque, he got to work with famous conductors like Sir Thomas Beecham, Bruno Walter, and George Szell, to name a few.
He went to Europe for the first time in 1948. In the same year, he played at the Lucerne Festival for the first time. From 1950 to 1952, he played at the Prades Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which was put on by Pablo Casals. In the movie “Tonight We Sing,” which came out in 1953, he played Eugene Ysaye.
At the beginning of the 1960s, he took the initiative to get Eugene Istomin and Leonard Rose together to form a trio. Stern was very successful with this plan.
1956, during the Cold War, he went on a long trip through the USSR. He didn’t play in Germany because he didn’t like what the Nazis were doing there.
He was very close with the country of Israel. This relationship got even stronger when Israel and the United States set up cultural centers and foundations that helped young musicians from Israel get scholarships to study in the United States.
As the music director for the National Council for the Arts, he also made his mark. He helped get citizens, politicians, and artists together to protest against plans to tear down the Carnegie Hall of New York.
Because of how well he did, in 1960 he was named President of the Carnegie Hall Corporation and stayed in that job for forty years. This room used to be where young musicians learned music, and Stern was the music teacher.
He went to China in 1979. The next year, a documentary called “From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China” came out. It said that he was the first American musician to work with the China Central Symphony Society. This documentary film, which won an Oscar, also shows in an interesting way his rehearsals and performances with Chinese conductor Li Deluna.
In 1987, he got together with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax to make a trio. This trio worked with Jaime Laredo and Cho-Liang Lin, among others.
Personal History and Legacies
He got married to ballet dancer Nora Kaye in 1948, but the marriage didn’t last long. The next year, they got a divorce.
In 1951, he got married to Vera Lindenblit for the second time. He had three kids with his wife, Vera. Their names were Shira Stern, David Stern, and Michael Stern. Before they split up in 1994, they were married for 43 years.
In 1997, he married Linda Reynolds, who was his third wife.
He died at the age of 81 because his heart gave out.
Estimated Net worth
Isaac is one of the wealthiest violinists and is on the list of the most famous violinists. Based on what we’ve found on Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Isaac Stern has a net worth of about $1.5 million.