Remembering Isaac Stern on his 100th birthday

Posted on: July 20, 2020

“Tuesday, July 21, marks the centennial of the birth of violinist Isaac Stern,” writes Jeff Lunden on Sunday (7/19) at National Public Radio. “He was not only an acclaimed musician, but a devoted teacher who was a mentor to generations of musicians…. Stern was born on the shifting border between Poland and Ukraine. His parents brought him to the U.S. as an infant. They settled in San Francisco. And his son Michael says, until his father was 8 years old, ‘He had no aspirations to play music at all until, as he tells it, some kid across the street was playing. And he wanted to play.’ … Stern played the classics but also worked with contemporary composers, including Igor Stravinsky and Leonard Bernstein.… When he wasn’t able to join the army because of flat feet during World War II, he joined the USO and played for the troops. And when Carnegie Hall was scheduled to be demolished in 1960, he was instrumental in saving it, says his son Michael…. ‘It gave him an enormous sense of pride that he could give back both to the city and to the country,’ … said Michael Stern. Isaac Stern went on to serve as president of Carnegie Hall for 40 years.”