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STERNA Isaac

( Violinist)

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Biography STERNA Isaac
photo STERNA Isaac
Isaac Stern (21.07.1920 year - the year 23.09.2001)

He was born July 21, 1920 in Kremenets, that at the border of Ukraine and Poland. It was called the biblical name of Isaac, but at 10 months he became Isaac: Stern's family moved from the flames of the Civil War Russia in a peaceful America, in the city of San Francisco. However, for the family he always remained Isaac: the family spoke only in Russian, and Russian language for life remained with Isaac Stern.

. The family was musical: his mother loved to sing, my father played the piano, and 6 years old boy also was taught on an old piano
. But soon he decided that he would play the violin.

Young musician's talent manifested itself very quickly. At 8 years he entered the Conservatory at age 10 gave his first recital. A few months learned from Lewis Persindzhera, a leading professor of music, teacher Yehudi Menuhin. But this was his teacher Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Naum Blinder, "defector" from the Soviet Union. In Odessa, Blinder studied with the famous Peter Stolyarovsky, teachers, Milstein, Oistrakh, and many other great violinists. And then, in England, his teacher was Adolf Brodsky, the same Brodsky, who was the first in the world performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.

. Speeches young violinist followed one after another, invariably accompanied by praise of local critics
. In March 1937, he played the Brahms Violin Concerto, and his execution was broadcast on radio throughout the country.

Increasingly, Stern and his teacher were thinking about speech in New York. His "guardian angel", an elderly patron of young talents Lutie Goldstein bought for him for 6,5 thousand dollars Gvadiani violin, and he went to conquer New York.

The concert was held in October 1937 in the Town Hall. Isaac decided to show off technique and the program was of the greatest works of Bach, Wieniawski, Tartini, Glazunov, Szymanowski.

To win New York failed. Critics, noting the undoubted talent of a musician, considered his play "unstable" and advised to return to San Francisco to continue the classes. Upset Isaac six o'clock traveled to New York in a bus, looking out the window and not noticing anything around him. It is painful to think what to do: take the advice and back, or take one of the proposals of three orchestras of New York radio to take place accompanist, providing material well-being of the family. After long hesitation, he decided: too much time and effort expended to so easily abandon the career of the soloist.

He returned home and became intensely engaged, continuing to give concerts. Less than two years later, in February 1939 Isaac Stern once played in the Town Hall. This time he has won: the criticism was unanimous in appreciation of the performing skills of the young violinist.

The second concert in the Town Hall was the beginning of professional activities by Isaac Stern. He moved to New York and came under the wing of Sol Hurok, the famous impresario, the discoverer of many talents. Their relationship grew into a genuine friendship, is not interrupted until his death Yurok. Venerable impresario was to promote young, not familiar to the general public violinist. He said organizers of the concerts: "I'll give you a pound or Artur Rubinstein, Marian Anderson, if you take three ounces of Isaac Stern."

January 8, 1943 at Carnegie Hall a concert called "Sol Hurok presents Isaac Stern". The young violinist has chosen a very difficult program and played, as he puts it, "almost daring". Well-known music critic Irving Kolodin wrote in the newspaper "Sun" on the next day: "The program, . Stern played last night, . would be horrified at most hardened virtuosos, . But Mr. Stern managed the task with impressive skill and musical inventiveness.,

. That evening, Stern did not yet know what role in his life will play Carnegie Hall, and what role he will play in the fate of Carnegie Hall ...

. A world war is raging
. Relatives of the father and mother, Stern, along with all the city's Jews were burned alive by the Germans in Kremenets. Since then, the sound of the German language aroused in him a reaction, not to the necessary link to the artist with the audience. He realized that this is a private, their children and advised the students to play at home of Bach, Beethoven and many other great composers, but himself for his long performing career has never played either in Germany or in Austria.

. The war was part of Stern's life sometimes in unexpected ways
. In New York he lived in the apartment of a professor of physics Goldsmith, a great lover and connoisseur of classical music. At the beginning of the war Goldsmith moved to Chicago, where he participated in the development of the atomic bomb. When Stern was in the Chicago professor and his friends often come to his concerts. Once they asked Stern to take part in an experiment that would help determine the response of people to stay at a different depth and height. Stern entangled up and down the wires and asked to play something. He played "Presto" from G-minor sonata by Bach for solo violin, and the pressure and oxygen content in air varied from level to level greater depths greater heights. The scientists watched the reaction of the hands of trained violinist and recorded experiment on film. The film still remains a secret.

In November 1943, Stern was summoned to the recruiting station, but found unfit for service because of flat feet and old spinal surgery. He, however, with all my heart wanted to help the country and organized a brigade, which, besides himself, consisted of his accompanist, Alexander and down the three singers from the Metropolitan Opera. The team visited the Pacific Islands, Greenland and Iceland, and has given numerous concerts in hospitals and in the U.S. Army training bases.

. After the war, many Stern and successfully toured in his own country and in Europe, . performed with outstanding conductor Pierre Montreux, . Serge Koussevitzky, . Eugene Ormandy, . Leonard Bernstein, . played chamber music with Pablo Casals, . Eugene Istomin, . Alexander Schneider,
. In 1946, he went on stage Carnegie Hall with a beautiful Guarneri violin, which he bought for 65 thousand dollars. Subsequently, he bought another Guarneri - violin, had once belonged to the famous Belgian violinist Eugene Ysaye, and has a unique sound, powerful and melodious.

. In 1949 he married the ballerina Nora Kaye, but the marriage was unstable: after 6 months they were separated.

. In September 1949, Stern made his first trip to Israel and literally fell in love with this country, its people are covered by the enthusiasm
. Many times he has toured in Israel and was there in the most difficult time for the country: in 1967 during a 6-day war in 1973, when Israel fought against Egypt and Syria. In 1991, during the Persian Gulf crisis, he rushed back to Israel, has canceled a tour in Europe. A photograph of Stern playing the violin in the mask. However, the picture was taken backstage during a rehearsal, and during the concert on stage in front of people sitting in gas masks was a violinist and played with enthusiasm, without masks, in full concert attire.

. In Israel, Stern met with Vera Lindenblit, a Jewish girl with a difficult past, which was also an escape from the Nazis to Paris from Berlin, where she lived with her parents and her father's death in Auschwitz
. She moved from New York to Israel for two months before the tour Stern and dream to get to his concert, but all tickets were sold. Then she asked Alexander let down, which was familiar to her in the hall, and he introduced her to Isaac. After 17 days, 17 August 1951, they married and lived together for 45 years.

And one event is connected with Israel. In 1957, Stern heard the violin two incredibly talented Israeli boys Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman. Four years later, through the efforts of Stern, they were both in New York, where he continued his studies. Sol Hurok immediately began to patronize Pinky Zukerman. With Perlmanom also was more difficult: it is ill with polio walking with crutches and played sitting. Learning of this, Yurok categorically refused the young violinist, and only under pressure from the Stern changed its mind and believed in him - and no mistake: now Itzhak Perlman - is probably the most famous violinist of America.

. In 1951, when Stern toured in Antwerp, to his rest room came David Oistrakh
. Two outstanding violinist warmly greeted each other and agreed to meet in a few days in Brussels at the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Their meeting lasted five hours, they spoke in Russian about life in their countries, politics, music. Since then, they did not miss the opportunity to meet with each other, but by mutual agreement, have never written letters to one another, afraid to make life difficult for Oistrakh in the Soviet Union.

. The last time they met in London for three months before his death Oistrakh
. He looked very bad, and Stern asked him:

- Why do not you leave? You always revered, in a year you would become rich.

- I can not, - said David Oistrakh. - They do not allow my family to ride with me. I can not do that because of his wife and children.

- But why are you so much working in Russia, playing, are conducting, teach from morning till night, and did not stop?

- If I dwell even briefly, I begin to think. If I think I shall die, - said Oistrakh.

Igor Oistrakh and his son met with Stern in the hotel "Moscow", when he first arrived in the Soviet Union on a tour in April 1956. At his concert in the Great Hall of the Conservatory came more than two thousand music lovers, including many professional musicians. During the intermission to him backstage came Oistrakh and congratulated him with great success.

This was followed by a tour throughout the Soviet Union - in Leningrad, Kiev, Baku, Tbilisi ... In Yerevan, he talked with Aram Khachaturian on the role of folk music in the works of the composer. Khachaturian said that folk music - is the soul of his works, it is in his heart, his blood and flesh. Stern, who played many works by contemporary composers who tried to convince him that folk music, for all its importance, should only be a foundation on which to build a building of modern music with its new language, and experimental ideas. Khachaturian convince him failed.

Before leaving the Soviet Union Stern asked to try to break the deadlock the process of cultural exchange between the two countries. Even before the U.S. Congress passed a law on compulsory fingerprint all the artists who come to America. The Soviet authorities declared the law humiliating and unacceptable. At a reception in his honor, attended by Khrushchev, Bulganin, Molotov, and Malenkov, Stern decided to try. He appealed to Khrushchev to send to America Soviet artists, despite a law passed by Congress. "Tell the president that he changed the law" - answered Khrushchev. "But we have the president can not change the law, it is only by Congress," - said Stern. In response, Khrushchev, . under the appreciative laughter of those present at the reception of officials, . told story, . as someone, . vyvalivshis of the sleigh, . smashed his head so, . he has emerged brains, . but when running up the wounded farmer offered to return the brain to the place, . he said: "They do not need, . I'm going to the session of Parliament.,

. The next day, this is not too clever joke Soviet premier with an obvious allusion to the U.S. Congress was on the front pages of leading U.S. newspapers, . and the signing of an agreement on cultural exchanges between the USSR and the United States was stalled for nearly two years,
. It was signed on January 27, 1958, and in the magazine "Time" appeared someone joking saying: "Russian to send us their Jews from Odessa, and we send them our Jews from Odessa."

Stern visited the Soviet Union again in 1958. In 1967 and 1968 did not accept the invitation to tour because of the Soviet authorities' attitude toward Israel and after the events in Czechoslovakia. The last time he toured Russia in 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In mid-1950's in New York began to build a complex of buildings at Lincoln Center. In one of the buildings had to move to New York Philharmonic Orchestra, housed at Carnegie Hall, and the then owner of the hall, Simon decided to sell the building. He asked for his $ 3 million, but buyers were not announced: it was thought that New York needs only one big music hall. Then it was decided to demolish the building and in its place build a skyscraper under offices. Picture of a skyscraper, lined with red ceramic panel, appeared in the magazine "Life".

Historic building Carnegie Hall was built in 1891. At the Opening Concert Hall, the orchestra conducted by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and since then the Hall, who had a marvelous acoustics, became a musical symbol of America, a kind of mecca for local and foreign musicians. Naturally, the prospect of the destruction of the famous hall has not left indifferent numerous music lovers. Committees were formed for the protection of Carnegie Hall, held rallies and demonstrations, but all attempts to save the hall had proved unsuccessful, until the fight is not joined Isaac Stern.

Stern's actions were deliberate and purposeful. He realized that out of that situation only one: the Carnegie Hall should belong to the city. And it needs to convince state and local officials in a unique historical and musical value of the building, the need to have in another large room, which will not be a burden to taxpayers. Apartment Stern became the headquarters of the Committee for the preservation of Carnegie Hall. In the Committee consisted of prominent businessmen and politicians of both major parties in the country, which should have been lobbying the Republican state legislature and a democratic city council in New York.

. Stern prepared the text of an open letter in defense of Carnegie Hall, which was signed by Pablo Casals, Vladimir Horowitz, Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, Arthur Rubinstein, Leopold Stokowski, Leonard Bernstein, Van Cliburn and other prominent musicians
. Stern came into contact with the then Mayor Robert Wagner, who became his supporter.

April 16, 1960 Nelson Rockefeller, Governor of the State Legislature signed a decision allowing the city of New York to buy Carnegie Hall. In mid-May, the city bought from Simon's house and handed it to let the corporation "Carnegie Hall, whose president was Isaac Stern. When in September, he appeared on stage to play Beethoven's Violin Concerto, Hall met him a standing ovation.

Of forty Stern lived rich creative life: concerts, performances, sound recordings gramophone records. In 1945 he began working in cinema: the film "Humoresque" ( "Humoresque"), he duplicated the famous actor John Garfield. Violin music, which allegedly played Garfield, performed Stern, and staffing which showed the left hand violinist, removed Stern's hand. And in the film in 1953 "Tonight We Sing" ( "Tonight, we sing"), tells about the life of Sol Hurok, Stern played the role of Eugene Ysaye. In 1971 he was with great pleasure that participated in the recording film soundtrack "Fiddler on the Roof" ( "Fiddler on the Roof") on "Tevye the Milkman" by Sholom Aleichem.

In 1979 Stern was invited to perform in China. With him went a little kinogruppa, which captured the events and meetings that took place during this extremely interesting and successful tour. Of kilometers footage was created hour and a half film "From Mao to Mozart" ( "From Mao to Mozart"), where Stern was the main actor and commentator. The film was named best documentary video in 1980 and received an Oscar.

. Mstislav Rostropovich (in a pack) and Gregory Peck at the celebration of the 70 th anniversary

. Stern grew up in the family, three wonderful children - daughter, Shira, and sons Michael and David
. The children grew up, got families. Shira dedicated his life to Judaism, became a rabbi, like her husband. Sons chose a musical career, both steel conductors. Vera intensively involved in social work, was elected president of the American Israel Cultural Foundation. After the children had departed from the parental home, the wife is clearly seen that each of them lives its own life, cohabitation has become a burden to them. They decided to divorce.

Important role in this event played that 75-year-old Stern fell in love. His mistress, a beautiful young Linda Reynolds, worked at the Center for the Performing Arts Kennedy in Washington. The talented pianist, she chose to study the history of music, was familiar with many musicians and knew the specifics of their lives. Even before the divorce, they openly lived together in the house of Stern in Connecticut, and in November 1996, became husband and wife.

In 1999, Stern first arrived in Germany. When he and Linda walked down the gangway of the plane, reporters asked: "Where is your Guarneri?" "Resting in his bed in New York" - Stern replied: he remained true to himself and came to Germany without a violin. They have visited many cities in Germany, visited the place where he once lived and worked Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn ...

Stern was gay and cheerful person. He swam well, decently played table tennis and, not sparing the hands, for which he was once punished for dislocated wrist. His autobiographical book, written in 1999, he called "My First 79 Years" ( "My first 79 years"), as if taunting fate. The second 79 years he had no chance to live: 23 September 2001 he died.

A month after his death, Isaac Stern Auditorium in Carnegie Hall on the evening in memory of the violinist's admirers gathered his talent. 2 thousand seats were filled with audiences, still 400 people watched the concert on closed-circuit television. Favorite works of Stern played a prominent musicians whose creative destiny largely held due to his efforts: Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Aix, Midori ...

. President of the corporation "Carnegie Hall" Sanford Weil, addressing the gathering, said: "Isaac loved to say that Carnegie Hall - a special room: the walls of his home to the soul of Tchaikovsky, Horowitz, Toscanini, and many other great musicians
. Now joined by the soul of Isaac Stern ". The answer was an ovation - the last ovation to the great violinist.


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