Isy was born in Riga, capital city of Latvia (part of the Baltic States). At six years of age he attended the Emila Darzina School for gifted children as a violinist. He studied with a noted Professor named Karl Bruckner. When Isy was sixteen years old he was privileged to be chosen to give a recital held in The Riga Conservatory. Renowned past students of the Emila Darzina School included Mariss Jansons, Misha Maisky, Misha Barishnikov and Gidon Kremer. At 18 years of age he left Riga to go to Moscow to further his studies.
There he studied for five years under famous teachers such as Oleg Kagan and I. Risin while simultaneously working with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, touring throughout Russia. On completion of his studies Isy obtained a Bachelor of Music, City of Moscow. He then became a permanent member of the Moscow Radio Orchestra.
After five years there, he joined the MSO. In 1981 he resigned to take up a full-time teaching position. In 1983 he joined the Sydney Symphony, and travelled to the U.K. two years kater, where he became a member of The Philharmonia Orchestra in London. He re-joined the MSO in 1987 and has remained there until the present day.
Were your parents/siblings musical?
No, but were lovers of classical music.
What are the best and worst things about touring?
Best: The enjoyment and pride of playing in different countries.
Worst: Tours are not long enough.
Who are your musical heroes or influences?
Gidon Kremer and Oleg Kagan.
What was the last CD you bought?
Kagan playing with Sviatoslav. Richter.