by Gerta Ries Wiener (1982), Isaac Stern, Violin virtuoso.
Isaac Stern (1920
violinist Isaac Stern was born in Kreminiesz, Russia on July 21,
1920. When just a year old, his family emigrated to the United
States and settled in San Francisco. Stern took up the violin
at the age of eight, and within three years was a soloist with
the San Francisco Symphony.
memorable Carnegie Hall debut was made in 1943. In 1960, thanks
largely to his efforts, historic Carnegie Hall (opened May 5,
1891) was saved from demolition ... and he continued to serve
as its president for over three decades.
has appeared in concerts throughout the world, playing his 1740
Guarneri, and has gained recognition as an unofficial "United
States Musical Ambassador." Antonio Stradivari made about 1,100
violins during his lifetime, in the 17th and early 18th centuries,
of which about 550 survive. But the instrument preferred by Stern
is one of just 150 violins made by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu
during the same period. Strads are described as sounding sweet
and golden, while Guarneriuses are more dusky or earthy and sensuous.
about Stern's trip to China, "From Mao to Mozart," won an Academy
Award. Stern found time to play a role in the Broadway show "Tonight
We Sing" in 1952; he also inaugurated the Mann Auditorium in Tel
Aviv (1957) and founded the Jerusalem Music Centre in 1973. In
addition, Stern has served as the president of the American-Israel
Cultural Foundation, and was appointed in 1965 as a member of
the National Council on Arts.