Where to even start with this talented cellist? As mentioned in the title above, Steven Isserlis is so much more than just a worldwide acclaimed musician.
Born December 19, 1958, into a musical family (father, mother and two sisters – all musicians), Isserlis grew up in London, England. He attended City of London School, and then continued his studies in Scotland Oberlin Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Jane Cowen, to which his distinguished career as a world-renowned soloist, chamber musician and teacher began.
Performing with the crème of the crop of musical platforms, Isserlis has dipped his toes as a musician, conductor and cello director for a number of world led orchestras, chamber orchestras and period instrument ensembles. Just a few of these include the Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Taking a backseat from his performing world, Isserlis’ other talents include writing. He has partnered with Oscar-winning composer Anne Dudley to craft stories and music for their own project of children’s musicals: Little Red Violin, Goldiepegs and the Three Cellos and Cindercella. Not only this, but Isserlis is also author of his own children’s books Why Beethoven Threw the Stew and its sequel Why Handel Waggled his Wig.
Now, let’s get to the quirky facts far from the classical realm. Isserlis is a long time Beatles fan. He claims that listening to their music helps to calm his nerves, and this has become part of his pre-performance ritual.
Pet hates include; liver, kidney, caviar and tinned tuna, jet-lag and airlines that give him trouble about his cello (which a lot of musicians do have trouble with to tell you the truth). Other things that drive him a bit crazy include; not knowing the correct amount to tip at restaurants each time, musical snobs and canned laughter on TV shows.