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Perlman, Itzhak

Itzhak Perlman

Violinist, conductor

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Izhak Perlman is one of the most famous and sought-after international violin virtuosos. His warm, lyrical sound, formidable technique and musicianship, and rapport with audiences have led to his superstar status. Perlman has performed with orchestras and in recitals throughout the world, earning record sums. His albums of classical violin pieces consistently top the best-seller charts, and he is widely known to the public from televised performances and talk show appearances. His talent is utterly limitless, violinist and friend Isaac Stern told Newsweeks Annalyn Swan. No one comes anywhere near him in what he can physically do with the violin.

Perlmans parents, Chaim and Shoshana, met and married in Israel, to which they had separately emigrated in the 1930s. Shortly after Itzhak was born, his talent became evident. The two and a half-year-old could sing on key opera arias that he heard on the radio, and at age three and a half the toddler asked for a violin, which his parents bought for him at a local thrift store.

Tragedy struck Perlman at age four when he contracted polio myelitis, which permanently paralyzed his legs and necessitated his wearing heavy braces and walking with the aid of crutches. During his lengthy convalescence, Perlman continued to practice the violin, and he later studied with Rivka Goldgart at Schulamit Academy in Tel Aviv. The young boy with perfect pitch made such progress that he was considered a child prodigy. In 1958 he was discovered during a talent search and chosen to represent Israel on the Ed Sullivan Caravan of the Stars during its tour of the United States.

After the tour, Itzhak and his mother moved into an apartment in New York, a difficult move. It wasnt easy: not speaking the language, leaving childhood friends behind, leaving my fatherwho joined us a year later. It took six months to get myself attuned and it was depressing in the beginning, but when you are a kid you get used to things very quicky, he related to a reporter for the New York Daily News. The young violinist received his secondary education at home with tutors and enrolled in the preparatory division of New Yorks Juilliard School of Music. For five years he studied under the renowned teachers Dorothy DeLay and Ivan Galamian and eventually earned a diploma. Remembering that time, DeLay told Swan, What set Itzhak apart from the beginning was his sheer talent and enormous imagination. Itzhak was on a kind of creative high that has never let up.

Perlman also spent several summers at Meadowmount School of Music in upstate New York, where he met violinist Toby Friedlander, whom he married in 1967. During those years Perlman also helped support his family by playing for Jewish fund-raising dinners. A more auspicious performance, his Carnegie Hall debut,

For the Record

Born on August 31, 1945, in Tel Aviv, Israel; immigrated to the United States, 1958; son of Chaim (a barber) and Shoshana Perlman; married Toby Lynn Friedlander (a violinist), January 5, 1967; children: Noah, Navah, Miriam, Leora, Ariella. Education: Received diploma from Juilliard School of Music.

Discovered in talent search to find Israeli representative for Ed Sullivans Caravan of the Stars U.S. tour, 1958; performed for Jewish fund-raising dinners while a student; Carnegie Hall debut, with performance of Wieniawskis Violin Concerto No.l, March 5, 1963; secured bookings as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic and other major orchestras after winning the Leventritt Award, 1964; continued appearances with world-renown musicians and orchestras, 1970s-; contributed violin solos to the Schindlers List film soundtrack, 1994; founded the Perlman Music Program (with Toby Perlman), 1995.

Awards: Grammy Awards, Best Classical PerformanceInstrumental Soloist or Soloists (with Orchestra), 1977; Best Chamber Music Performance (with Vladimir Ashkenazy), 1978; Best Classical Album (with others), 1978; Best Classical PerformanceInstrumental Soloist or Soloists (with Orchestra), 1980; Best Chamber Music Performance (with others), 1980; Best Classical PerformanceInstrumental Soloist or Soloists (without Orchestra), 1980; Best Classical PerformanceInstrumental Soloist or Soloists (with Orchestra), 1980; Best Classical PerformanceInstrumental Soloist or Soloists (with Orchestra), 1981; Best Chamber Music Performance (with others), 1981; Best Classical PerformanceInstrumental Soloist or Soloists (with Orchestra), 1982; Best Classical PerformanceInstrumental Soloist or Soloists (with Orchestra), 1987; Best Chamber Music Performance, Instrumental or Vocal (with others), 1987; Best Chamber Music or Other Small Ensemble Performance (with Daniel Barenboim), 1990; Best Classical PerformanceInstrumental Soloist or Soloists (with Orchestra), 1990; Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra), 1995; also recipient of four Emmy Awards, Leventritt Award, 1964, and Medal of Liberty, 1986.

Addresses: Management IMG Artists, 825 Seventh Ave., 8th FL, New York, NY 10019.

took place on March 5, 1963, with his rendition of Wieniawskis Violin Concerto No. 1. The need to perform as a soloist from a sitting position instead of standingas is customarynecessitated that Perlman hold the violin in a somewhat unorthodox position, but this has not adversely affected his ability. In fact, his solo career was launched when he won the prestigious Leventritt Competition, with its $1000 cash award and bookings for solo appearances with the New York Philharmonic and other major symphony orchestras.

Since that time Perlman has become one of the most popular instrumentalists in the realm of classical music. His technical command of the violin, superb musicianship and lyrical tone, and showmanship have endeared him to audiences worldwide. Perlmans celebrity status has given him much freedomfinancial and artistic. He performs on any of a number of Stradivarius or Guarnieri violins, extremely expensive eighteenth-century violins renowned for their distinctive tonal quality. He also enjoys limiting his concert schedule to approximately 100 performances per year. He schedules concert dates around family events, with ample time to rest between appearances as traveling is especially rigorous when transportation and lodging are often not easily accessible.

Perlman likes to add several new works to his repertoire each yearexclusively pieces that appeal to himand spend a long but leisurely time preparing them. He delights in searching out unusual works of considerable musical value and has also commissioned new works for the violin. During the 1980s and 1990s, Perlmans recital and concert appearances included those with the Israel Philharmonic in 1987, 1990, and 1994; a four-concert series in London during which he performed the major violin concerto; performances of Beethoven Triple Concerto with Daniel Barenboim, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Berlin Philharmonic in 1995; and concerts with Berlin Staatskapelle and Orchestre de Paris in 1997. Perlman performed as soloist and acted as director of the English Chamber Orchestra in 1997-98 and toured with the group during 1999-2000. Also in 2000, Perlman was named principal guest conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for the 2001-02 season. Perlmans enormous discography includes most of the classical repertoire for violin, for which he has garnered numerous Grammy Awards, as well as forays into folk songs and jazz. Perlman also contributed violin solos to the Schindlers List film soundtrack in 1994.

When not performing or recording, Perlman finds time to share his talents in other ways, such as with the Perlman Music Program. Founded by Perlman and his wife in 1995, the program provides instruction, mentoring, six weeks residency at facilities on Shelter Island, New York, and an annual international study/performance tour for gifted students ages 11 to 18; more than 80 percent of the children who participate in the program are given financial assistance to do so.

Believing that media exposure will attract wider audiences to classical music, Perlman has appeared many times on televisiontalk shows, news magazines, and childrens showsduring which he dispels with his sense of humor the image of classical music as elitist or stuffy. Some of the programs he has appeared on include The Late Show with David Letterman, Sesame Street, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Grammy Awards telecasts, and Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts. He has used such appearances to speak out on behalf of the handicapped for improved access to public buildings and transportation, and he has supported aid to the handicapped through several hospitals, foundations, and educational programs, even funding a scholarship for musically talented disabled children.

Selected discography

Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2, RCA Victor, 1967.

Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, RCA Victor, 1967.

Paganini: Violin Concert No. 1, EMI/Angel, 1972.

Bach: Violin Concertos in D Minor and G Minor, EMI/Angel, 1973.

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Violin Concerto in E Minor, EMI/Angel, 1973.

Wieniawski: Violin Concertos No. 1 and 2, EMI/Angel, 1973.

Joplin: Easy Winners, EMI/Angel, 1975.

Kreisler: My Favourite Kreisler, EMI/Angel, 1976.

Stravinsky: Divertimento; Suite Italienne; Duo Concertante, EMI/Angel, 1976.

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, EMI/Angel, 1976.

Goldmark: Violin Concerto No. 1, EMI/Angel, 1977.

Vieuxtemps: Violin Concertos No. 4 and 5, EMI/Angel, 1978.

Brahms: Concerto in A minor, EMI/Angel, 1980.

(With Andre Previn) A Different Kind of Blues, Angel, 1981.

Tchaikovsky: Trio in A minor, EMI/Angel, 1981.

Beethoven: Violin Sonatas, London, 1983.

Khachaturian: Violin Concerto; Tchaikovsky: Meditation, EMI/Angel, 1984.

Mozart: Violin Sonatas, Deutsche Grammaphon, 1984.

Dvorak: Sonatina in G, Angel, 1985.

Bach: Complete Piano Trios, Angel, 1986.

Beethoven: Piano Trios No. 6 and 7, EMI/Angel, 1986.

Tradition: Popular Jewish Melodies, Angel, 1987.

A Tribute to Jascha Heifetz, EMI, 1989.

Brahms: Three Violin Sonatas, Sony Classical, 1990.

Brahms: Violin Concerto in D, EMI, 1992.

Dvorak in Prague: A Celebration, Sony Classical, 1994.

(Contributor) Schindlers List (soundtrack), MCA, 1994.

In the Fiddlers House, Angel, 1995.

Elgar: Violin Concerto, Deutsche Grammaphon, 1996.

Live in the Fiddlers House, Angel, 1996.

(With John Williams) Cinema Serenade, Sony Classical, 1997.

(With John Williams) Cinema Serenade 2, Sony Classical, 1999.

Concertos from My Childhood, Angel, 1999.

Classic Perlman: Rhapsody, Sony, 2002.

Sources

Books

Schwarz, Boris, Great Masters of the Violin, Simon & Schuster, 1983.

Periodicals

Atlanta Journal, October 20, 1985; October 4, 1988.

American Record Guide, May 2000.

Greensboro News and Record, January 19, 1986.

Hartford Courant, April 4, 1987.

Houston Post, January 9, 1989.

Indianapolis Star, May 15, 1988.

Kansas City Star, November 25, 1984; May 20, 1987.

Lansing State Journal, October 31, 1988.

Newsweek, April 14, 1980.

New York Daily News, June 29, 1986.

Seattle Times, October 21, 1988.

The Strad, February 1986.

Online

Itzhak Perlman, All Classical Guide, http://www.allclassical.com (May 28, 2002).

Itzhak Perlman, Sony Classical, http://www.sonyclassical.com/artists/perlman/bio.html (April 3, 2002).

Itzhak Perlman: Albums, ARTISTDirect, http://store.artistdirect.com/store/artist/album/full/0,,478492,00.html?artist=iizhak+perlman (May 29, 2002).

Itzhak Perlman on Youth, Music and Philanthropy, On Philanthropy, http://www.onphilanthropy.com/op2001-10-30.html (April 3, 2002).

Library of Congress Online Catalog, http://lcweb.loc.gov (May 29, 2002).

Perlman, Itzhak: Discography, Yahoo! Shopping, http://shopping.yahoo.com/shop?d=art&id=perlmanitzhak (May 29, 2002).

Jeanne M. Lesinski

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Itzhak Perlman

Itzhak Perlman

Itzhak Perlman (born 1945) is accepted and celebrated by many as one of the greatest classical violinists of the twentieth century. Overcoming polio and its crippling effects, Perlman was a distinguished musician in his native Israel prior to entering his teens. He travels around the world performing and teaming with other great musicians and he has brought a new style, individuality and technical ability to classical music and the violin.

Itzhak Perlman was born on August 31, 1945 in Tel Aviv, then the largest city in Palestine (a few years later it became the nation of Israel) to Chaim and Shoshana Perlman. His parents, both natives of Poland, had immigrated to Palestine in the mid-1930s before meeting and marrying. Perlman had wanted to be a violinist after hearing a concert performed on the radio when he was a mere three-years-old. His father worked as a barber and bought his young son his first violin from a second-hand shop shortly thereafter for approximately six dollars. Perlman practiced intensely every day before facing one of is toughest challenges.

When Perlman was four-years-old, he was stricken with polio, which would forever leave him disabled. He continued to practice for the full year it took for him to recover and was soon able to walk using the aid of leg braces and crutches. Upon being released from the hospital, Perlman enrolled at the Tel Aviv Academy of Music where he studied under the famed Madame Rivka Goldart on a scholarship from the American-Israeli Cultural Foundation. By the time he was seven-years-old, he was making regular appearances with the Ramat-Gan Orchestra in Tel Aviv and the Broadcasting Orchestra in Jerusalem, Israel. In 1955, at the age of ten, he gave his first solo recital and was widely considered a music prodigy in Israel.

Moves To America

In 1958, at the age of 13, Perlman was brought to New York City, by the Columbia Broadcasting Corporation's (CBS) Ed Sullivan Show for two performances during the show's "Cavalcade of Stars." His rendition of Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee and Wieniawski's Polonaise Brillante made Perlman a star in America and he soon decided to stay for good. After being joined by his parents, Perlman toured American and Canadian cities performing under the sponsorship of the Zionist Organization of America which soon aided Perlman in gaining admission into the famed Juilliard School of Music in New York City. Perlman, under a special arrangement with the New York City board of education, finished his secondary education during his five years in Juilliard's preparatory division. He then enrolled in their regular division studying under Ivan Galamian and Dorothy Delay and would eventually earn a diploma.

On March 5, 1963, Perlman made his Carnegie Hall debut in New York City with Wieniawski's Violin Concerto No. 1 in F Sharp Minor. New York City was in the midst of a newspaper strike and the concert received no coverage, but Perlman came to the attention of famed violinists Zino Francescatti, Isaac Stern and Yehudi Menuhin. Stern introduced Perlman to impresario Sol Hurok, who would manage his career.

On April 21, 1964, Perlman won the 23rd-annual Edgar M. Leventritt Foundation competition at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He was the youngest of the 19 contestants and performed Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Wieniawski compositions before an all-star panel of judges. This is the same music competition that helped launch the careers of popular classical musicians such as Van Cliburn and Pinchas Zukerman, and Perlman would be the next name on that list of great musicians.

Performs Around the World

The Edgar M. Leventritt Foundation competition is one of the most prestigious and demanding international musical competitions and Perlman's winning of its Memorial Award, and the $1, 000 that went along with it, guaranteed him solo appearances all over the nation. In 1964 and 1965, he traveled to Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado; Buffalo, New York and New Haven, Connecticut performing for sold-out crowds.

In 1964, Perlman performed twice again for CBS's Ed Sullivan Show before traveling to Washington, DC to perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto alongside the National Symphony Orchestra. In October of that year he repeated this performance alongside the Israel National Youth Symphony before traveling back to his birthplace in January of 1965 for the first time since 1958. Perlman performed eight concerts throughout Israel and culminated with a performance of Tchaikovsky pieces at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv for which he received a 15-minute ovation.

In 1965 and 1966, Perlman performed in 30 cities during his first major concert tour of America. In Chicago, his performance was so compelling that the Chicago Daily News stated "It was possible to imagine that Itzhak Perlman was born with a violin protruding from his left clavicle and never had to learn to play it, and more than he had to learn to breathe." In February of 1966, he played again with the National Symphony Orchestra. His performance of Karl Goldmark's Violin Concerto in A Minor at the Philharmonic Hall left the crowd breathless both there and at Toronto's Massey Hall, where he played Paganini and Prokofiev a few days later with the Toronto Symphony under Seiji Ozawa.

Marathon Touring

In 1967 and 1968, Perlman went even further with performances in 50 American cities and trips abroad. The highlight of the 1967 tour was his Honolulu, Hawaii, performance of Stravinsky's rare Violin Concerto with the composer himself conducting. Perlman would go on to rack up performances in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Los Angeles, California; Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; Dallas, Texas and Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1967 before moving on to hugely-attended shows at the Berkshire Music Festival in Tanglewood, Massachusetts, the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California, the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Washington, D.C. and the Ravina Festival in Chicago, Illinois.

Earlier that year, on January 5, 1967, Perlman married Toby Lynn Friedlander, a native New Yorker and fellow Juilliard violinist he met in 1964 while performing at a summer camp concert. In 1968, Perlman performed in Portugal, Italy, Scotland, England, France, Sweden, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Israel. The constant touring and his exceptional performances quickly made Perlman one of the most-recognized classical musicians in the world.

Individualized Music

Hoping to individualize his performances and make them more challenging to perform, in April of 1969, Perlman gave a special interpretative performance of Paganini's Violin Concerto No. 1 in D in New York City. This performance, as well as other such performances, set Perlman apart from other musicians of renown as one that not only could play technically well, but could also change arrangements to make them fit the performer instead of the other way around.

His 1970 performances included stops in Toronto and Stratford, Ontario and a special performance in Washington, D.C. alongside conductor George Szell. His constant search for new or rare works to perform led him to a 1971 performance of Dvorak's Violin Concerto in Washington, D.C. and New York City. A performance of Alban Berg's Violin Concerto in New York City over the summer of that year garnered him even more renown as an individually-minded classical musician.

In 1972, Perlman performed in England and Israel along with performances in New York City and at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington, D.C. In 1973, despite a telephone death threat called in to him at the theater, Perlman performed flawlessly at New York's Museum of Modern Art. In 1974, Perlman performed in New York City with the Baltimore, Maryland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania orchestras and gave two Carnegie Hall chamber music concerts with Isaac Stern. He also continued his large-scale touring with extensive performance dates in both Canada and the United States.

On January 30, 1975, Perlman gave a performance of Chiaroscuro, a piece that had been specially composed for him by Robert Mann, at Carnegie Hall in New York City. His performance was widely hailed and the New York Times wrote that Perlman "now has taken the quantum leap into a tiny group of artists-the names of Rubinstein and Segovia come most quickly to mind-who make audiences fall deeply in love with them."

After 1975, Perlman would perform all of his 100-plus annual concerts with a $60, 000 Stradivarius violin he discovered after a comprehensive search. A fan of other genres of music, in 1975 Perlman and Andre Previn released an album of Scot Joplin ragtime compositions on Angel Records. This was not Perlman's first album, he had been recording standard classical arrangements for the RCA Victor and London Records labels since his earliest days following his win at the Edgar M. Leventritt Foundation competition.

In 1986, Perlman was awarded the Medal of Liberty for his efforts in promoting classical music across international boundaries. As a result of this touring, Perlman has played with almost every symphony orchestra in the world. He has also been awarded honorary degrees from Yale, Harvard and Brandeis Universities as well as one from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.

Perlman lives in New York City with his wife and their five children. He continues to tour extensively and, in 1998, toured in the United States and Japan as well as performing for Public Broadcasting System (PBS) classical music television specials. In 1975, he started teaching private students and also participates in the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. He continues to amaze audiences and other artists alike continually improving his technical ability and changing his style to best fit his individuality to remain the "fiddler's fiddler."

Further Reading

Schwarz, Boris, Great Masters of the Violin, Simon and Schuster, 1987.

Billboard, September 28, 1996.

Chicago Daily News, November 29, 1965.

Esquire, June, 1968.

Glamour, March 1987.

Houston Post, January 9, 1989.

New York Times, March 8, 1970; February 1, 1975.

Newsweek, April 14, 1980.

People, May 26, 1980; June 8, 1981; August 11, 1997.

Seattle Times, October 21, 1988.

Time, January 15, 1965.

"Classics World Biography -Itzhak Perlman, " BMG Classics,http://classicalmus.com/composers/perlman.html (May 7, 1998).

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Perlman, Itzhak

ITZHAK PERLMAN

Born: Tel Aviv, Israel, 31 August 1945

Genre: Classical


Itzhak Perlman is the leading violinist of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and one of the most recognized classical artists in the world. His international career has included performances with every major orchestra, and at every major classical festival and concert venue in the world, and his recordings and videos have been honored with the highest awards in the music business.



Born in Israel in 1945, Perlman received his early musical training in Tel Aviv. At the age of four he was struck with polio, which left him unable to walk unassisted. In 1958 he came to New York to study with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy Delay at the Juilliard School.

His first major attention came with a performance of "Flight of the Bumblebee" on The Ed Sullivan Show at the age of thirteen. A win at the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964 launched his international career. He received additional attention in the press when the rare Guarnerius del Gesu violin he had been loaned by Juilliard for the competition was stolen after the awards while he was backstage (the instrument was later recovered in a pawn shop).

In 1987 he accompanied the Israel Philharmonic on a historic tour to Warsaw and Budapest; it was the first performances by the orchestra in Eastern Bloc countries. This was followed by a visit with the orchestra to the Soviet Union in 1990. A documentary of this trip, Perlman in Russia, won a 1992 Emmy Award for Outstanding Classical Program in the Performing Arts, the first of four Emmys Perlman has won.

Perlman has performed and recorded with most of the leading musicians and orchestras of the day, including Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Barenboim, Lynn Harrell, Leonard Bernstein, Jessye Norman, Zubin Mehta, and Seiji Ozawa. He has recorded all of the standard violin literature in more than 130 releases, and has won fifteen Grammy Awards, the first in 1977 for a recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, and the fifteenth in 1995 for an album of American music featuring works by Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, and Lukas Foss.

In 1995 in honor of his fiftieth birthday, a twenty-one-CD boxed set, The Itzhak Perlman Collection, was released featuring a "definitive" collection of violin music. The recordings feature a selection of major violin works of the baroque, classical, romantic and twentieth century, including chamber music and concertos.

Perlman has been a frequent performer on televisionincluding several broadcasts of Live from Lincoln Center and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) specials A Musical Toast and Mozart by the Masters, both of which he hosted. He has been an occasional guest on The Tonight Show, The David Letterman Show, and Sesame Street. In 1994 he hosted a Three Tenors live broadcast from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

In film, he collaborated with composer John Williams on Williams's Academy Awardwinning score for Steven Spielberg's film Schindler's List (1993), performing all of the violin solos. The soundtrack from the movie was a best-seller.

Having conquered most of the challenges of the classical violin world, in the 1990s Perlman expanded his activities, performing with Klezmer bands in Mexico and at major North American music festivals. He recorded an album of Klezmer music, and a PBS special, In the Fiddler's House, about his adventures with Klezmer music, was filmed in Poland in 1995 and won an Emmy the following year.

With his wife Toby, in the mid-1990s he founded the Perlman Music Program in New York, which identifies young musicians ages eleven to eighteen and supports them with musical instruction. A film about Perlman's work at the school, Fiddling for the Future, won another Emmy in 1999.

Perlman also began to conduct, appearing in the late 1990s as conductor/soloist with the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and others. In 2001 he began an appointment as Principal Guest Conductor of the Detroit Symphony.

Among his many honors are Musical America's Musician of the Year (1980), the National Medal of Liberty (1986) presented by President Ronald Reagan, and the National Medal of Arts (2000) presented by President Bill Clinton.

Perlman's eloquence as a performer, his warm tactile musicianship, unerring sense of musicality, and expansive personality have attracted millions of fans. He is a big man physically, and he engulfs his instrument, making his violin playing seem easy. He is also an eloquent communicator and gifted teacher, both with a violin in his hands and without. He brings a curiosity to his work that shows in his playing and in his choice of projects, and he is a passionate advocate and spokesman for people with disabilities.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

The Itzhak Perlman Collection (EMI, 1995); The American Album (EMI, 1995). Soundtrack: Schindler's List (MCA, 1993).

douglas mclennan

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Perlman, Itzhak

Itzhak Perlman, 1945–, Israeli musician, one of the greatest violinists of his generation, b. Tel Aviv. A child prodigy, he gave a solo violin recital at age ten and appeared on American television in 1958. He studied at the Juilliard School in New York City. Since his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963, Perlman has appeared widely in concert throughout the world and has made hundreds of recordings. He is noted for the warmth of his tone and brillant technique. Stricken with polio at age four, Perlman has also been an advocate for the rights of the disabled.

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Perlman, Itzhak

Perlman, Itzhak (b Tel Aviv, 1945). Israeli-born violinist (Amer. cit.). Recital on Amer. radio at age 10, Carnegie Hall 1963, with leading orchs. from 1964. London début 1968; Salzburg Fest. début 1972. Assoc. in chamber mus. with Barenboim, Ashkenazy, Zukerman, etc. Plays seated because of polio.

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Perlman, Itzhak

Itzhak Perlman

Violinist

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Itzhak Perlman is one of the most famous and sought-after international violin virtuosos of the latter twentieth century. His warm, lyrical sound, formidable technique and musicianship, and rapport with audiences have led to his superstar status. Perlman has performed with orchestras and in recitals throughout the world, earning record sums. His albums of classical violin pieces consistently top the best-seller charts, and he is widely known to the public from televised performances and talk show appearances. His talent is utterly limitless, violinist and friend Isaac Stern told Newsweeks Annalyn Swan. No one comes anywhere near him in what he can physically do with the violin.

Perlmans parents, Chaim and Shoshana, met and married in Israel, to which they had separately emigrated in the 1930s. Shortly after Itzhak was born his talent became evident. The two and a half-year-old could sing on key opera arias that he heard on the radio, and at age three and a half the toddler asked for a violin, which his parents bought for him at a local thrift store.

Tragedy struck Perlman at age four when he contracted polio myelitis, which permanently paralyzed his legs and necessitated his wearing heavy braces and walking with the aid of crutches. During his lengthily convalescence, Perlman continued to pratice the violin, and he later studied with Rivka Goldgart at Schulamit Academy in Tel Aviv. The young boy with perfect pitch made such progress that he was considered a child prodigy. In 1958 he was discovered during a talent search and chosen to represent Israel on the Ed Sullivan Caravan of the Stars during its tour of the United States.

After the tour, Itzhak and his mother moved into an apartment in New York, a difficult move. It wasnt easy: not speaking the language, leaving childhood friends behind, leaving my fatherwho joined us a year later. It took six months to get myself attuned and it was depressing in the beginning, but when you are a kid you get used to things very quicky, he related to a reporter for the New York Daily News. The young violinist received his secondary education at home with tutors and enrolled in the preparatory division of New Yorks Juilliard School of Music. For five years he studied under the renowned teachers Dorothy DeLay and Ivan Galamian and eventually earned a diploma. Remembering that time, DeLay told Swan, What set Itzhak apart from the beginning was his sheer talent and enormous imagination. Itzhak was on a kind of creative high that has never let up.

Perlman also spent several summers at Meadowmount School of Music in upstate New York, where he met violinist Toby Friedlander, whom he married in 1967. During those years Perlman also helped support his

For the Record

Born August 31, 1945, in Tel Aviv, Israel; came to United States, 1958; son of Chaim (a barber) and Shoshana Perlman; married Toby Lynn Friedlander (a violinist), January 5, 1967; children: Noah, Navah, Miriam, Leora, Ariella. Education: Received diploma from Juilliard School of Music.Religion: Jewish .

Discovered in talent search to find Israeli representative for Ed Sullivans Caravan of the Stars U.S. tour, 1958; performed for Jewish fund-raising dinners while a student; Carnegie Hall debut, March 5, 1963, with performance of Wieniawskis Violin Concerto No.1; secured bookings as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic and other major orchestras after winning the Leventritt Award, 1964; recording artist and concert performer.

Awards: Winner of 12 Grammy Awards; recipient of Leventritt Award, 1964; awarded Medal of Liberty, 1986.

Addresses: Manager IMG Artists, 22 East 71st St., New York, NY 10021.

family by playing for Jewish fund-raising dinners. A more auspicious performance, his Carnegie Hall debut, took place on March 5, 1963, with his rendition of Wieniawskis Violin Concerto No. 1. The need to perform as a soloist from a sitting position instead of standingas is customarynecessitated that Perlman hold the violin in a somewhat unorthodox position, but this has not adversely affected his ability. In fact, his solo career was launched when he won the prestigious Leventritt Competition, with its $1000 cash award and bookings for solo appearances with the New York Philharmonic and other major symphony orchestras.

Since that time Perlman has become one of the most popular instrumentalists in the realm of classical music. His technical command of the violin, superb musicianship and lyrical tone, and showmanship have endeared him to audiences worldwide. Perlmans celebrity status has given him much freedomfinancial and artistic. He performs on any of a number of Stradivarius or Guarnieri violins, extremely expensive eighteenth-century violins renowned for their distinctive tonal quality. He also enjoys limiting his concert schedule to approximately one hundred performances per year. He schedules concert dates around family events, with ample time to rest between appearances as traveling is especially rigorous when transportation and logding are often not easily accessible.

Perlman likes to add several new works to his repertoire each yearexclusively pieces that appeal to himand spend a long but leisurely time preparing them. He delights in searching out unusual works of considerable musical value and has also commissioned new works for the violin. Perlmans enormous discography includes most of the classical repertoire for violin, for which he has garnered numerous Grammy Awards, as well as forays into folk songs and jazz. When not performing or recording, Perlman finds time to share his talents in other ways, such as teaching masters classes at the music camp in Aspen, Colorado.

Believing that media exposure will attract wider audiences to classical music, Perlman has appeared many times on televisiontalk shows, news magazines, childrens showsduring which he dispells with his sense of humor the image of classical music as elitist or stuffy. He also uses such appearances to speak out on behalf of the handicapped for improved access to public buildings and transporatation, and he has supported aid to the handicapped through several hospitals, foundations, and educational programs, even funding a scholarship for musically talented disabled children.

Perlman is very much the family man and lives unostentatiously in his New York City apartment, once the home of Babe Ruth. He prefers to commute home as often as possible rather than spend nights in a hotel and often calls home three or four times a day.

He enjoys many hobbies: cooking, swimming, playing table tennis, and rooting for the Yankees and Knicks.

Selected discography

Bach: Violin Concertos in D Minor and G Minor, EMI/Angel.

Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, EMI/Angel.

Beethoven: Piano Trios No. 6 and 7, EMI/Angel.

Beethoven: Sonatas No. 1 - 7, London.

Beethoven: Violin Concerto, EMI/Angel.

Berlioz: Reverie et Caprice; Lalo: Symphonie Españole, Deutsche Grammaphon.

Brahms: Violin Concerto, EMI/Angel.

Chausson: Pome; Ravel: Tzigane; Saint-Sans: Havanaise; Introduction and Rondo Capricioso, EMI/Angel.

Dvorak: Violin Concerto, EMI/Angel.

Elgar: Violin Concerto, DG.

EncoresKreisler, Sarasate, Novcek, Ben Haim, Wieniawski Debussy, Tartini, Valle, Rachmaninov, Schumann, Paganini, EMI/Angel.

Goldmark: Violin Concerto No. 1 ; Korngold: Violin Concerto in D Major, EMI/Angel.

Joplin: Easy Winners, EMI/Angel.

Khachaturian: Violin Concerto; Tchaikovsky: Meditation, EMI/Angel.

Kreisler: My Favourite Kreisler, EMI/Angel.

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Violin Concerto in E Minor; Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, EMI/Angel.

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 1, DG.

Paganini: Violin Concert No. 1; Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy, EMI/Angel.

Prokofiev: Violin Concertos No. 1 and 2, RCA.

Sibelius: Violin Concerto; Sinding: Suite for Violin and Orchestra, op. 10, EMI/Angel.

Salut damourVirtuoso Pieces by Albniz, Brahms, Dvorak, Elgar, Falla, Kreisler, Phillips.

Starer: Violin Concerto; Kim: Violin Concerto, EMI/Angel.

Stravinsky: Divertimento; Suite Italienne; Duo Concertante, EMI/Angel.

Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio, EMI/Angel.

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, EMI/Angel.

Vieuxtemps: Violin Concertos No. 4 and 5, EMI/Angel.

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, EMI/Angel.

Wieniawski: Violin Concertos No. 1 and 2, EMI/Angel.

Sources

Books

Schwarz, Boris, Great Masters of the Violin, Simon and Schuster, 1983.

Periodicals

Atlanta Journal, October 20, 1985; October 4, 1988.

Greensboro News and Record, January 19, 1986.

Hartford Courant, April 4, 1987.

Houston Post, January 9, 1989.

Indianapolis Star, May 15, 1988.

Kansas City Star, November 25, 1984; May 20, 1987.

Lansing State Journal, October 31, 1988.

Newsweek, April 14, 1980.

New York Daily News, June 29, 1986.

Seattle Times, October 21, 1988.

The Strad, February 1986.

Jeanne M. Lesinski

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