Steven Isserlis' cultural background is fascinating： his grandfather was the Russian pianist and composer Julius Isserlis, while older branches of his own family tree seem to have been intertwined with others as diverse as those of Mendelssohn and Karl Marx. Today, his artistic profile has strong personal characteristics： uniquely beautiful sound; diversity in his choice of repertoire; a passion for musicological detective work which allows him to resurrect pieces previously unheard for decades; and above all a palpable commitment to and passion for the music he plays.
In 1998, he was awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in the Queen's Birthday Honours, in recognition of his services to music. He is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music, and in 1993, received the Piatigorsky Award in the USA, as well as the Royal Philharmonic Society Award in London for "performances with a quality of commitment that linger in the memory, and for an unfailing gift for communicating the meaning of the music to the audiences."
His busy international concert schedule includes invitations from the greatest orchestras and conductors. This season's schedule include performances with the Berlin Philharmonic and Christoph Eschenbach, a tour of the USA with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis, concerts with the Philharmonia and Leonard Slatkin.
The breadth of his musical commitment extends to education： he is Artistic Director of the international master class and chamber music forum IMS Prussia Cove. The chamber music series of Isserlis' devising are renowned such as his Mendelssohn project for the Salzburg Festival 1997. Schumann is a special passion for Isserlis - hence his Schumann Festival at the Wigmore Hall in 1989; plus a film about Schumann for Channel 4 which features Isserlis as presenter and performer.
He records exclusively with RCA Victor Red Seal. Many of his recordings have won prizes such as International Gramophone Awards and the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis. The most recent release is a collection of short works entitled 'Cello World'.