Tuesday, July 21, marks the centennial of the birth of violinist Isaac Stern. He was not only an acclaimed musician, but a devoted teacher who was a mentor to generations of musicians.
Isaac Stern, (born July 21, 1920, Kremenets, Ukraine, Russian Empire—died September 22, 2001, New York, New York, U.S.), Russian-born American musician who was considered one of the premier violinists of the 20th century. Active in organizations promoting the arts, he played a key role in saving New York City’s Carnegie Hall from demolition in 1960 and later became president of the corporation that administered the hall and its cultural programs; he held the post until his death. In 1964 he helped establish the National Endowment for the Arts. Stern was also noted for his encouragement of young musicians, and he aided the careers of Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman, among others. The recipient of numerous awards, Stern received the Kennedy Center Honors Award in 1984 and a Grammy for lifetime achievement in 1987.