Among the Conservatory’s well-known alumni is virtuoso Isaac Stern (1920-2001), who studied at the Conservatory in his early years. While looking through scrapbooks in the Conservatory’s archives of historical programs and news clippings, archives student assistant Anna Bush (M.M. Clarinet, 2015) came across several programs dated from 1929 to 1931 in which Isaac Stern played.
This program is from a recital Isaac Stern gave on April 28, 1931 (83 years ago!) when he was just 10 years old and a student of Nathan Abas at the Conservatory. The recital includes works by Corelli, Bach, Wieniawski, Pugnani and Kriesler, and Paganini and Kreisler.
A Conservatory catalog from 1930-1931 describes faculty member Nathan Abas:
“Nathan Abas, born in Amsterdam, Holland, where he made his early studies. Formed a string quartet at the age of 19, and was soloist with the Mengelberg Orchestra in Amsterdam. During the war he came to America, and studied for several years under the well-known violinist, Franz Kneisel. After this he concertized in chamber music and solo playing in and about New York City, and taught at the New York Institute of Musical Art.
“Coming to San Francisco in 1927, he formed the Abas String Quartet, of which he is the first violinist, an organization closely identified with radio activity, broadcasting a concert every Sunday night, which enjoys great popularity, and giving a series of regular concerts every winter in this city.
“Mr. Abas is in great demand as solo artist, conductor and teacher.”
We would love to hear stories from more of our alumni. Visit our “Share Your Memories” project and click on the link at the bottom to submit your memories from your time at the Conservatory!