Itzhak Perlman

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Itzhak Perlman (2007)

Itzhak Perlman ( Hebrew יצחק פרלמן; *  August 31, 1945 in Tel Aviv ) is an Israeli- American violinist , conductor and music teacher . He is considered one of the most important violinists of the second half of the 20th century.

childhood and education

Itzhak Perlman is the son of the hairdresser Chaim Perlman, who emigrated from Poland, and his wife. Itzhak Perlman developed poliomyelitis when he was 4 years old . He began his violin training at the age of 5 at the Schulamith Academy in his hometown, after having overcome the worst of the illness. However, as a result of the illness, he is dependent on walking aids and therefore plays while sitting. At the age of nine he was admitted to the Academy of Music in Jaffa. In 1958 he moved to the USA to study with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School in New York .


In Tel Aviv, Perlman made his debut on Israeli radio at the age of 9.

After emigrating to the United States, he went on several long concert tours, in addition to which he also appeared again and again on television programs. He celebrated his breakthrough when he won the coveted Leventritt Memorial Prize in Carnegie Hall in 1964 . His joint appearances with the violinist Pinchas Zukerman also gained notoriety. Outside of the classical-romantic repertoire, he shone with his talent for improvisation in interaction with various Klezmer groups, including Brave New World , The Klezmatics , Andy Statman and the Klezmer Conservatory Band . From 1968 onwards he went on a concert tour through the USA almost every year. Particularly noteworthy are his appearances with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in the areas of what was then the Eastern Bloc , where the first concerts took place in 1987 in Warsaw and Budapest . He gained greater fame outside of the classical world through the film music for Schindler's List , composed by John Williams and awarded an Oscar , which contains a violin solo dedicated to him and played by him as the main theme. He was later heard again in a John Williams soundtrack for the film The Geisha .

In the course of his career he has published several CD and record collections, which have received multiple awards.

In addition to his solo successes, he also has a remarkable pedagogical career; he gives private lessons and gives master classes for violin and chamber music worldwide. He currently teaches at the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair of Violin Studies at the prestigious Juilliard School, a position that his teacher Dorothy DeLay held before him. He and his wife also started the Perlman Music Program in 1998 , a summer course for talented young musicians. A documentary film about this project was awarded an Emmy .

In addition to his solo appearances, Perlman also conducts and is among other things the principal guest conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra . Under the direction of James Levine, he sang the role of the turnkey in the third act in his recording of Puccini's Tosca from 1980 (together with Renata Scotto and Plácido Domingo, among others ).

Perlman plays the Stradivarius violin Soil from 1714, which he acquired from Yehudi Menuhin in 1986 .


Perlman has been with Toby Lynn, b. Friedländer, married. The couple have five children, two sons and three daughters. In addition to his musical career, he is committed to the disabled.



In 2018, his Life with Itzhak Perlman - A Life for Music was filmed as a documentary directed by Alison Chernick. The American documentary series American Masters published an episode entitled Itzhak Perlman through Perlman in 2018 .

Web links

Commons : Itzhak Perlman  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The relaxed musical genius Itzhak Perlman In: , August 16, 2018, accessed on August 17, 2018.
  2. Itzhak Perlman
  3. Gladiator33111: Itzhak Perlman - Themes from "Schindler's List". Retrieved December 16, 2018 .
  4. ^ Itzhak Perlman sings The New York Times, July 21, 1986
  5. ^ Member History: Itzhak Perlman. American Philosophical Society, accessed February 5, 2019 .
  6. Geiger Itzhak Perlman receives Genesis Prize 2016, December 14, 2015
  7. The relaxed musical genius Itzhak Perlman In: , August 16, 2018, accessed on August 17, 2018.
  8. ^ Itzhak Perlman - About the Film. In: PBS. Retrieved January 16, 2019 .