Stern Appreciation (long)

The music world is mourning one of the foremost violinists of the 20th century. Isaac Stern died on Saturday (Sept. 22) in a hospital in New York. The cause of death was heart failure. Stern, who moved with his parents from Russia to San Francisco when he was ten months old, established himself as a soloist after World War II. He also became one of the most sought-after chamber musicians, and a nurturing mentor for many of his younger colleagues. Fourty years ago, Stern stepped into the limelight of politics. Supported by other musicians, he convinced the major of New York to save the Carnegie Hall, which was just about to be demolished by ambitious real estate developers. Stern made headlines in Germany two years ago when he visited the country for the first time in his life. It was the good-will gesture of a Jewish musician who, after the Holocaust, had vowed never to set foot on German soil. Georg Hirsch looks back at life and work of Isaac Stern, who has died at age 81.

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