Throughout his more than 50 years as a professional musician, ISAAC STERN has appeared on the world’s most prestigious concert stages and devoted himself to the advancement of the arts nationally and internationally. His performing schedule remains exceptional and wide-ranging, and he is one of the most recorded musical artists of our time, with more than 100 recordings of over 200 works by 63 composers to his credit. He has been an exclusive Sony Classical (formerly CBS Masterworks) recording artist for over 50 years and was named that label’s first “artist laureate” in 1985.
In keeping with his long-standing commitment to working with young musicians, Stern has held a number of chamber music workshops at Carnegie Hall over the years, coaching a diverse group of international ensembles in both public and private master classes. Similar programs are also held by Stern in Israel as the Jerusalem International Music Encounter, for which he invites many of his chamber music colleagues to participate as teachers. Stern has also taken particular pleasure in performing with student musicians, including, in recent years, the orchestras of the San Francisco Conservatory and the Curtis Institute, the latter in concerts at the Philadelphia Academy of Music and Carnegie Hall.
Isaac Stern was born in Kreminiecz, Russia, in 1920, and came with his parents to America when he was ten months old. Raised and educated in San Francisco, he started playing the violin at the age of eight. After his recital debut at age 13, Stern made his formal orchestral debut in 1936, playing the Brahms Violin Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Pierre Monteux, in a concert that was broadcast nationally. His New York recital debut followed at Town Hall in 1937, with his Carnegie Hall debut occurring in 1943. Stern resides in New York City. He has three children and four grandchildren. He plays a Guarnerius del Gesù violin.