A Tribute to Isaac Stern

Happy Birthday, Isaac Stern!

Isaac Stern


At the Polar Music Prize Banquet in 2000, 80-year- old Isaac Stern played “Liebeslied” by Fritz Kreisler. He and Bob Dylan were that year’s recipients.



Isaac Stern was born on July 21, 1920, in what is now the Ukraine. His family moved to San Francisco the following year. He gave his first public performance at age 15.

In 1951, Stern was the first American violinist to tour the Soviet Union, but later announced he would not return until all Soviet artists were allowed to come and go freely. He had close ties with Israel, and often performed there. He never played publicly in Germany.

As a world-renowned violinist, he used his fame and influence to save Carnegie Hall when it was threatened with demolition in the 1960s.

He died on September 22, 2001, leaving his third wife, three children, and five grandchildren, and a marvelous recorded repertoire as his legacy to the world.


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Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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