Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, ITZHAK PERLMAN enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world, who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to his irrepressible joy for making music.
Born in Israel in 1945, Perlman completed his initial training at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. An early recipient of an America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship, he was propelled to national recognition on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. Following his studies at The Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay, he won the Leventritt Competition in 1964, which led to a burgeoning world-wide career.
Having performed with every major orchestra and at concert halls around the globe, Perlman was granted a Presidential Medal of Freedom – the Nation’s highest civilian honor – by President Obama in 2015, a Kennedy Center Honor in 2003, a National Medal of Arts by President Clinton in 2000, and a Medal of Liberty by President Reagan in 1986. Perlman has been honored with sixteen Grammy® Awards, four Emmy Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Genesis Prize.
Perlman’s 2017/18 season features several key collaborations and appearances. He and legendary pianist Martha Argerich embark on their first-ever tour together, with performances in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Additionally, he reunites with longtime friend and collaborator Pinchas Zukerman for recitals in Boston, Newark, Miami and West Palm Beach. In October 2017, he and Zukerman returned to the stage of Carnegie Hall with Zubin Mehta in a gala appearance with the Israel Philharmonic, celebrating the orchestra’s 80th anniversary. Throughout the season, he makes appearances with his regular collaborator, pianist Rohan De Silva, in recitals across North America, plus a ten-city recital tour to Asia which takes them to Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul, and beyond. On the orchestral front, Maestro Perlman leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony in play/conduct programs, and he plays special gala concerts with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, and Winnipeg Symphony.
Alongside his engagements as violinist and conductor, Perlman is increasingly making more appearances as a speaker. Recent speaking engagements include appearances in Texas at Lamar University, South Dakota with the John Vucurevich Foundation, and in Washington, D.C. for the Marriott Foundation.
Perlman’s most recent album features him in a special collaboration with Martha Argerich. Released in 2016 by Warner Classics, it marked a historic first studio recording for this legendary duo exploring masterpieces by Bach, Schumann, and Brahms. It had been 18 years since their first album together: a live recital from the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Perlman has also recorded a bonus track for the original cast recording of the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, released on Broadway Records in March 2016. The cast recording features Perlman on a track titled “Excerpts from Fiddler on the Roof,” arranged by John Williams.
Over the past two decades, Perlman has become actively involved in music education through his work with the Perlman Music Program and The Juilliard School, where he currently holds the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Chair.
Numerous publications and institutions have paid tribute to Perlman for the unique place he occupies in the artistic and humanitarian fabric of our times. Harvard, Yale, Brandeis, Roosevelt, Yeshiva, and Hebrew universities are among the institutions that have awarded him honorary degrees. He was awarded an honorary doctorate and a centennial medal on the occasion of Juilliard’s 100th commencement ceremony in 2005. Perlman’s presence on stage, on camera, and in personal appearances of all kinds, speaks eloquently on behalf of the disabled, and his devotion to their cause is an integral part of his life.