AS BUSY as he is, [violinist] Isaac Stern will make time to see people. Here I am, exactly half his age, with, supposedly, a lot more energy, and I try to do the same thing. But wherever I go to hear people, he has already heard them somewhere.
Why does he make that effort? It's not ambition or mere physical energy. Mr. Stern is deeply moved by things, by people, by music, by events. He cares about violin playing and about the profession, and he gets excited when he sees talent. He reaches out, and he gets something in return: understanding. It's like a motor that gets him going and gives him reason to do more.
In recent years, I've started playing concerts with Mr. Stern on a fairly regular basis, and he is a wonderful colleague. Our rehearsals are enjoyable, because we listen, we react, we're vulnerable to each other. The spirit is inseparable from the reality of friendship, of people wanting something to happen together. It's as though Isaac Stern is the enabler, the reason for certain things to happen.