- NAME: Itzhak Perlman
- OCCUPATION: Songwriter, Conductor
- BIRTH DATE: August 31, 1945 (Age: 68)
- Did You Know?: Itzhak Perlman and his wife, Toby, have done choral singing as part of the Perlman Music Program.
- EDUCATION: Shulamit Conservatory, The Juilliard School, Music Academy of Tel Aviv
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Tel Aviv, Israel
- ZODIAC SIGN: Virgo
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Itzhak Perlman is a Grammy Award- and Emmy Award-winning classical musician, highly revered for his work as a violinist and conductor.
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Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, on August 31, 1945, Itzhak Perlman was a prodigious talent on the violin, appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show as a teen and studying at the Juilliard School. He went on to become one of the world's most renowned classical musicians and has collaborated with an array of talents, going on to work as a conductor as well. His wife, Toby, has established the Perlman Music Program.
"Every performance is a fresh experience. ... It's one of the great challenges, especially when you reach a point where you have to repeat something over and over again. You just concentrate on what the music tells you and do it every time you play."
"If somebody is talented, they contain a certain kind of magic, and that magic is very precious, because it is on very precarious ground. It's like a very fine leaf that if you shake it too much, it breaks. You have to let the branch grow until it becomes strong enough that if you shake it, it's won't break."
"For me, one of the great things about teaching is not so much what to say but to know what not to say."
Itzhak Perlman was born on August 31, 1945, in Tel Aviv, Israel. He showed great musical aptitude early in life; due to polio, however, his legs became permanently paralyzed at the age of 4. Yet despite doctors' skeptical forecasts about the possibilities of pursuing music, the young Perlman persevered, along with father Chaim, who enrolled his son in the Music Academy of Tel Aviv.
Perlman soared in terms of his abilities with the violin, and offered his first public concert at the age of 10. He performed on television at 13 years old on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1958, and that same year, attended the Juilliard School, studying under some of violin's greatest figures. In the mid-1960s, he performed at Carnegie Hall and soon after won the esteemed Leventritt Competition.
In the mid-1960s Perlman married Toby Friedlander, whom he knew as a teen. The couple went on to have several children and lived in New York City.
Over the following decades, Perlman has become a deeply revered musician who's played with all of the world's renowned orchestras, been featured in special events across the globe and appeared in a variety of media programs, garnering an array of awards and accolades. In 1978, a documentary on Perlman's life was released—Itzhak Perlman: Virtuoso Violinist, by Christopher Nupen.
He has a highly extensive discography, performing the works of many classical music icons that include Antonin Dvorak, Wolfgang Mozart, Johannes Brahms, Antonio Vivaldi and Ludwig van Beethoven, and collaborating with contemporary figures like Emmanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, Kathleen Battle, Yitzchak Meir Helfgot and Plácido Domingo.
Perlman has also made forays into klezmer (traditional Jewish folk) musical traditions on offerings like the PBS special In the Fiddler's House (1995) and the album Live in the Fiddler's House (1996). He has done acclaimed movie score work as well, collaborating with John Williams on the score for Schindler's List and Memoirs of a Geisha and Tan Dun on the score for Hero.
Perlman had received 15 Grammy Awards by 2013, including in the chamber music and solo instrumentalist categories, and the 2008 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also won four Emmy Awards for programs like Perlman in Russia, the aforementioned In the Fiddler's House and Fiddling for the Future.
Known for his generous spirit, Perlman has worked as a teacher at Juilliard, and in 1998 Toby co-founded the Perlman Music Program (http://www.perlmanmusicprogram.org/), an educational, multifaceted resource for young, developing musicians.
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Originally called Toast of the Town, The Ed Sullivan Show ran from 1948-1971 on CBS and was an American staple in the 50s and 60s. The American variety show featured the Who's Who of celebritydom over the decades, including Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Tony Bennett, Carol Channing, Lucille Ball, The Jackson 5, and The Doors.
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