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Itzhak Perlman ( he, יצחק פרלמן; born August 31, 1945) is an Israeli-American
violin The violin, sometimes known as a ''fiddle'', is a wooden chordophone (string instrument) in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and thus highest-pitched instrument (soprano) in the family in regular ...

violin
ist,
conductor Conductor or conduction may refer to: Music * Conductor (music), a person who leads a musical ensemble like, for example, an orchestra. * Conductor (album), ''Conductor'' (album), an album by indie rock band The Comas * Conduction, a type of ...

conductor
, and music teacher. Perlman has performed worldwide, and throughout the United States, in venues that have included a State Dinner at the
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White House
honoring
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Queen Elizabeth II
, and at President
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government ...

Barack Obama
's inauguration. He has conducted the
Detroit Symphony Orchestra The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is an American orchestra based in Detroit, Michigan (strait) , nicknames = The Motor City, Motown, Renaissance City, City of the Straits, The D, D-Town, Hockeytown, The Automotive Capi ...
,
the Philadelphia Orchestra The Philadelphia Orchestra is an American Orchestra, symphony orchestra, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of the "Big Five (orchestras), Big Five" American orchestras, the orchestra is based at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, w ...
, and the Westchester Philharmonic. In 2015, he was awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs th ...

Presidential Medal of Freedom
. He has received 16 Grammy Awards, including a
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award is a special Grammy Award The Grammy Award (stylized as GRAMMY, originally called Gramophone Award), or just Grammy, is an award presented by the Recording Academy to recognize achievement in the music in ...
, and four
Emmy Awards The Emmy Awards, or Emmys, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the television industry. It is considered one of the four major entertainment awards in the United States, the others being the Grammy The Grammy Award (stylized ...
.


Early life

Perlman was born in 1945 in
Tel Aviv Tel Aviv-Yafo ( he, תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ, ''Tel Aviv-Yafo'' ; ar, تَلّ أَبِيب - يَافَا, ''Tall ʾAbīb-Yāfā''), often referred to as just Tel Aviv, is the most populous city in the metropolitan area of . Locate ...

Tel Aviv
. His parents, Chaim and Shoshana Perlman, were
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...

Jewish
natives of
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
and had independently immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel) in the mid-1930s before they met and later married. Perlman contracted
polio Poliomyelitis, commonly shortened to polio, is an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology ...

polio
at age four and has walked using leg braces and crutches since then and plays the violin while seated. , he uses crutches or an electric Amigo scooter for mobility. Perlman first became interested in the violin after hearing a classical music performance on the radio. At the age of three, he was denied admission to the Shulamit Conservatory for being too small to hold a violin. He instead taught himself how to play the instrument using a toy
fiddle A fiddle is a bowed string String or strings may refer to: *String (structure), a long flexible structure made from threads twisted together, which is used to tie, bind, or hang other objects Arts, entertainment, and media Films * String ...

fiddle
until he was old enough to study with Rivka Goldgart at the Shulamit Conservatory and at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv (now the
Buchmann-Mehta School of Music The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music (BMSM) is an institute of higher education in Tel Aviv, Israel. The school is a part of the Faculty of the Arts of Tel Aviv University and is operated in collaboration with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO). ...
), where he gave his first recital at age 10. He moved to the U.S. at age 13 to study at the
Juilliard School The Juilliard School () is a Private university, private performing arts music school, conservatory in New York City. Established in 1905, the school trains about 850 undergraduate and graduate students in dance, drama, and music. It is widely ...
with the violin teacher
Ivan Galamian Ivan Alexander Galamian ( hy, Իվան Ղալամեան; April 14, 1981) was an American violin teacher of the twentieth century. Biography Galamian was born in Tabriz, Iran to an Armenians, Armenian family. Soon after his birth the family emigr ...
and his assistant
Dorothy DeLay Dorothy DeLay (March 31, 1917 – March 24, 2002) was an American violin instructor, primarily at the Juilliard School, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University of Cincinnati. Life Dorothy DeLay was born on March 31, 1917, in Medicine Lodge, ...
.


Career


Performing

Perlman appeared on ''
The Ed Sullivan Show ''The Ed Sullivan Show'' was an American television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wir ...
'' twice in 1958, and again in 1964, on the same show with the
Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical ...
. He made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1963 and won the Leventritt Competition in 1964. Soon afterward, he began to tour widely. In addition to an extensive recording and performance career, he has continued to make appearances on television shows such as ''The Tonight Show'' and ''Sesame Street'' as well as playing at a number of
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. preside ...

White House
functions. Although Perlman has never been billed or marketed as a singer, he sang the role of "Un carceriere" ("a jailer") on a 1981 EMI recording of Giacomo Puccini, Puccini's "Tosca" that featured Renata Scotto, Plácido Domingo, and Renato Bruson, with James Levine conducting. He had earlier sung the role in an excerpt from the opera on a 1980 Pension Fund Benefit Concert telecast as part of the Live from Lincoln Center series with Luciano Pavarotti as Cavaradossi and Zubin Mehta conducting the New York Philharmonic. On July 5, 1986, Perlman performed at the New York Philharmonic's tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, which was televised live on American Broadcasting Company, ABC. The orchestra, conducted by Mehta, performed in Central Park. In 1987, Perlman joined the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) for its concerts in Warsaw and Budapest as well as other cities in Eastern bloc countries. He toured with the IPO in the spring of 1990 for its first-ever performance in the Soviet Union, with concerts in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Leningrad, and again in 1994, performing in China and India. In 2015, on a classical music program titled ''The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center'' produced by WQXR-FM, WQXR in New York City, it was revealed that Perlman performed the uncredited violin solo on the 1989 Billy Joel song "The Downeaster Alexa". While primarily a solo artist, Perlman has performed with a number of other musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Jessye Norman, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Isaac Stern, and Yuri Temirkanov at the 150th anniversary celebration of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Tchaikovsky in Leningrad in December 1990. As well as playing and recording the classical music for which he is best known, Perlman has also played jazz, including an album made with jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, and klezmer. He has been a soloist in a number of film scores, such as the theme of the 1993 film ''Schindler's List'' by John Williams, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Score. More recently, he was the violin soloist in the 2005 film ''Memoirs of a Geisha (film), Memoirs of a Geisha'' along with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Perlman played selections from the musical scores of the movies nominated for "Best Original Score" at the 73rd Academy Awards with Ma and at the 78th Academy Awards.


Selected performances

Perlman played at the state dinner attended by Queen Elizabeth II on May 7, 2007, in the East Room at the
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. preside ...

White House
. He performed John Williams's "Air and Simple Gifts" at the First inauguration of Barack Obama, 2009 inauguration ceremony for
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government ...

Barack Obama
along with Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano), and Anthony McGill (musician), Anthony McGill (clarinet). The quartet played live, but the music played simultaneously over speakers and on television was a recording made two days earlier due to concerns that the cold weather could damage the instruments. Perlman was quoted as saying: "It would have been a disaster if we had done it any other way." He made an appearance in Disney's ''Fantasia 2000'' to introduce the segment ''Pines of Rome'', along with Steve Martin. On November 2, 2018, Perlman reprised the 60th anniversary of his first appearance on ''The Ed Sullivan Show'' as a guest on ''The Late Show with Stephen Colbert''.


Teaching

In 1975, Perlman accepted a faculty post at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College. In 2003, he was named the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Chair in Violin Studies at the Juilliard School, succeeding his teacher,
Dorothy DeLay Dorothy DeLay (March 31, 1917 – March 24, 2002) was an American violin instructor, primarily at the Juilliard School, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University of Cincinnati. Life Dorothy DeLay was born on March 31, 1917, in Medicine Lodge, ...
. He also teaches students one-on-one at the Perlman Music Program on Long Island, NY, rarely holding master classes.


The Perlman Music Program

The Perlman Music Program, founded in 1994 by Perlman's wife, Toby Perlman, and Suki Sandler, started as a summer camp for exceptional string musicians between the ages of 12 and 18. Over time, it expanded to a yearlong program. Students have the chance to have Perlman coach them before they play at venues such as the Sutton Place Synagogue and public schools. By introducing students to each other and requiring them to practice together, the program strives to have musicians who would otherwise practice alone develop a network of friends and colleagues. Rather than remain isolated, participants in the program find an area where they belong.


Conducting

At the beginning of the new millennium, Perlman began to conduct. He took the post of principal guest conductor at the
Detroit Symphony Orchestra The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is an American orchestra based in Detroit, Michigan (strait) , nicknames = The Motor City, Motown, Renaissance City, City of the Straits, The D, D-Town, Hockeytown, The Automotive Capi ...
. He served as music advisor to the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra from 2002 to 2004. In November 2007, the Westchester Philharmonic announced his appointment as artistic director and principal conductor. His first concert in these roles was on October 11, 2008, in an all-Beethoven program featuring pianist Leon Fleisher performing the Emperor Concerto.


Instruments

Perlman plays the ''Soil Stradivarius'' violin of 1714, formerly owned by Yehudi Menuhin and considered one of the finest violins made during Antonio Stradivari, Stradivari's "golden period." Perlman also plays the Guarneri, Guarneri del Gesù 1743 'Sauret' and the Kreisler Bergonzi, Carlo Bergonzi 1740 'ex-Kreisler'.


Personal life

Perlman lives in New York City with his wife, Toby, also a classically trained violinist. They have five children, including Navah Perlman, a concert pianist and chamber musician. Perlman is a distant cousin of the Canadian comic and television personality Howie Mandel. He has synesthesia and was interviewed for ''Tasting the Universe'' by Maureen Seaberg, which is about the condition.


Discography

* ''Tradition'' (1987) * ''Duos'' (1987) * ''Vivaldi: The Four Seasons/3 Violin Concertos'' (1992) * ''Dvořák in Prague: A Celebration'' (Sony Classical, 1994, and Kultur Video, 2007) * ''The American Album'' (1995) * ''In the Fiddler's House'' (1995) * ''Holiday Tradition'' (1998) * ''Concertos from My Childhood'' (EMI, 1999) * ''The Essential Itzhak Perlman'' (Sony Classical, 2009) * ''Eternal Echoes: Songs and Dances for the Soul '' (Sony Classical, 2012) with Yitzchak Meir Helfgot * ''Violin Sonatas'' (Universal Music Classics/Deutsche Grammophon, 2015) * ''The Perlman Sound'' (Warner Classics, 2015) With Andre Previn * ''The Easy Winners'' (Angel Records, 1975) * ''A Different Kind of Blues'' (EMI/Angel, 1980) * ''It's a Breeze'' (EMI/Angel, 1981) With Oscar Peterson * ''Side by Side'' (TELARC CD-83341 1994)


Honors and awards

*1964: Leventritt Competition – Winner *1977: Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra): Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons *1978: Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance:Beethoven: Sonatas for Violin and Piano (w/ Vladimir Ashkenazy) *1978: Grammy Award for Best Classical Album: Brahms: Concerto for Violin in D *1980: Grammy Award: Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra): The Spanish Album *1980: Grammy Award: Best Chamber Music Performance: Music for Two Violins (w/ Pinchas Zukerman) *1980: Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra): Brahms Violin and Cello Concerto in A Minor (w/ Mstislav Rostropovich) (TIE) *1980: Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra): Berg: Violin Concerto/Stravinsky: Violin Concerto in D (TIE) *1981: Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra): Isaac Stern 60th Anniversary Celebration (w/ Isaac Stern & Pinchas Zukerman) *1981: Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A Minor (w/ Lynn Harrell & Vladimir Ashkenazy) *1982: Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra): Elgar: Violin Concerto in B Minor *1987: Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance: Ludwig van Beethoven, Beethoven: The Complete Piano Trios (w/ Lynn Harrell & Vladimir Ashkenazy) *1987: Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra): Mozart: Violin Concertos Nos. 2 and 4 *1990: Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance: Johannes Brahms, Brahms: The Three Violin Sonatas (w/ Daniel Barenboim) *1990: Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra): Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 in A Minor/GlazunovL Violin Concerto in A Minor *1995: Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra): The American Album—Works of Bernstein, Barber, Foss *1997: Elected member of the American Philosophical Society *2003: Kennedy Center Honors *April 1980: ''Newsweek magazine'' featured Mr. Perlman with a cover story. *1986: Honored with the Medal of Liberty by President Reagan. *1992: Emmy Award: Outstanding Classical Program in the Performing Arts: Perlman in Russia *1994: Emmy Award: Outstanding Individual Achievement: Cultural Programming *1996: Emmy Award: Outstanding Cultural Music-Dance Program: Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler's House *1999: Emmy Award: Outstanding Classical Music-Dance Program: Itzhak Perlman: Fiddling for the Future *2000: Awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton *2002: Elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences *2005: Golden Plate Award of the Academy of Achievement, American Academy of Achievement presented by Awards Council member Elie Wiesel. *2008:
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award is a special Grammy Award The Grammy Award (stylized as GRAMMY, originally called Gramophone Award), or just Grammy, is an award presented by the Recording Academy to recognize achievement in the music in ...
*2015: Awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs th ...

Presidential Medal of Freedom
by President Obama *2016: Awarded the Genesis Prize by the Prime Minister of Israel. *2017: Subject of the documentary ''Itzhak'' directed by Alison Chernick.


References


External links


Itzhak Perlman Primo Artists
* *

in the World Concert Artist Directory * *
Itzhak Perlman interview on The Charlie Rose Show
(video), August 9, 2010

March 19, 2011
Itzhak Perlman & John Williams interview on The Charlie Rose Show
(video), August 8, 1997
The Perlman Music Program
{{DEFAULTSORT:Perlman, Itzhak 1945 births Living people 20th-century American Jews 20th-century American male musicians 20th-century American musicians 20th-century classical violinists 20th-century Israeli musicians 21st-century American Jews 21st-century American male musicians 21st-century American musicians 21st-century classical violinists 21st-century Israeli musicians American classical violinists American male conductors (music) American male violinists American people of Polish-Jewish descent Angel Records artists Brooklyn College faculty Deutsche Grammophon artists Edison Classical Music Awards Oeuvreprijs winners EMI Classics and Virgin Classics artists Emmy Award winners Grammy Award winners Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners Honorary Members of the Royal Academy of Music Israeli classical violinists Israeli conductors (music) Israeli emigrants to the United States Israeli Jews Israeli people of Polish-Jewish descent Jewish American classical musicians Jewish classical violinists Juilliard School alumni Juilliard School faculty Kennedy Center honorees Leventritt Award winners Male classical violinists Musicians from Tel Aviv People with polio Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients United States National Medal of Arts recipients Wheelchair users