Happy Birthday, 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.