Classical & Pops
Violinist and Storyteller Itzhak Perlman
Posted on 05/18/2020
It’s not often that a classical violinist reaches superstar status, yet Itzhak Perlman has managed to reach it and stay there. Arguably one the greatest violinists of all time, Perlman is beloved and celebrated as much for his prodigious talent as his charm and humanity. On May 6, 2021, Perlman will be returning to the State Theatre for a special 75th birthday celebration. This unique program will feature a solo recital with Perlman and his longtime pianist Rohan De Silva as well as a new multi-media experience. The masterful violinist’s life has been anything but ordinary, and now audiences will get a glimpse into his fascinating life.
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1945, Perlman took an interest in the violin after hearing a classical performance on the radio. At the age of four, he contracted polio leaving him paralyzed and unable to play the violin while standing. An obstacle that would leave most aspiring musicians defeated only propelled Perlman to keep going. At the young age of 13, Perlman came to the United States in 1958 to study at the Juilliard School in New York City with renowned teachers Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay. His biggest breakthrough as a musician came with a national television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show when the television host decided to feature Israeli artists from the newly established state.
Invited back to the Sullivan show in 1964, Perlman went on to record his first album and begin his journey towards becoming the most recognized violinist of our time. He quickly gained international prestige and embarked on a remarkable career in which he has since appeared with every major orchestra in venues throughout the United States and across the world. Perlman has been awarded four Emmy® Awards, 16 Grammy® Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here is Itzhak Perlman talking about the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Part of the world’s fondness for Perlman stems not only from his musical expertise, but his charismatic personality, sense of humor, and remarkable ability to tell a story. Here is Itzhak Perlman talking about working with John Williams for Schindler's List and the impact it has had around the world.
Also, an enthusiastic Mets fan, Perlman has played the national anthem at several games throughout the years. And just for fun, here is a throwback commercial that Itzhak did with Ray Charles on space technology.
He is also a man that places importance on giving back. Perlman lives by the Yiddish proverb that says "if the world is to be saved, it will be up to the children." Almost 20 years ago he and his wife Toby created the Perlman Music Program to teach gifted young string players in summer camps and mentoring programs. A family of musical talent, Perlman’s wife Toby is also a violinist and his daughter Navah Perlman (one of five children) is an accomplished pianist who took the State Theatre stage in a recent performance in November 2019.
Join us for this special evening with one of the most celebrated violinists of all time, Itzhak Perlman, live at State Theatre New Jersey on May 6, 2021.