Awarded: April 2000
(July 21, 1920 - Sept. 22, 2001)
Born in Russia in 1920, Isaac Stern came to America at the age of 10 months. He began playing the violin at 8 and made his recital debut at 13. In 1936, at 16, he performed with the San Francisco Symphony in a nationally broadcast concert of the Brahms Violin Concerto. During his career of more than 50 years, he has appeared on stages the world over, supported and nurtured the development of young musicians through his presidency of Carnegie Hall and devoted himself to the advancement and recognition of the arts nationally and internationally. He is one of the most recorded musicians of our time.