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Who is Itzhak Perlman?


One of the most talented and popular figures of the era; Itzhak Perlman. On musiconline's blog post this week, we look at the world-famous and award-winning violin virtuoso; Itzhak Perlman's musical adventure that began at an early age and the success story that has reached the present day.


Itzhak Perlman was born on August 31, 1945, in Tel Aviv, one of the largest cities in Palestine (which was located within the borders of the state of Israel a few years later). His parents, both of Polish descent, emigrated to Palestine in the mid-1930s, long before they met each other. Perlman's violin adventure began when he was three years old, he was impressed by the classical music he listened to on the radio, and his father, who worked as a barber, bought his young son a second-hand violin. Perlman was encouraged to take an intense interest in the violin and classical music every day before facing one of the greatest challenges in his life.

Perlman, who contracted polio when he was four, briefly managed to walk on support and crutches, practicing for a year to recover. After leaving the hospital, he enrolled at the Tel Aviv Academy of Music on a scholarship of the American-Israeli Cultural Foundation and began violin studies with Rivka Goldgart, and when he was seven years old, he performed with the Ramat-Gan Orchestra in Tel Aviv and the Broadcasting Orchestra in Jerusalem, Israel. The little violinist, who gave his first solo recital in 1955 when he was just ten years old, has been considered a musical prodigy in Israel.

After giving his first solo concerts in Tel Aviv, Perlman's US adventure began in 1958 when he was invited to the program by renowned entertainer Ed Sullivan. In the same year, Perlman settled in New York with his mother and enrolled at The Juilliard School of Music. Perlman, who had the opportunity to work here for several years with the world-famous violinist and violin teacher Ivan Galamian and his assistant Dorothy DeLay, performed at Carnegie Hall in 1964 and won first place at Leventritt, a highly prestigious international competition in the same year.

With the concerts and recording offers that followed the competition, Itzhak Perlman gave concerts with the biggest symphony orchestras including the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in his first recording. Considered one of the brightest violinists of his generation, Itzhak Perlman has done chamber music studies with great artists such as the famous pianist Daniel Barenboim, violinist Pinchas Zukerman and cellists Jacqueline Du Pré and Lynn Harrell, and also recorded duo recordings with pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy.

He began teaching at the Brooklyn College-Conservatory of Music in New York City in 1975 and was an instructor for many years at Juilliard, where he had previously studied.

Perlman, who remains one of the world's most popular musicians due to his outstanding talent, calm but also generous temperament, and warm contact with the public, continues to frequently appear on American television as both an artist and commentator.

Itzhak Perlman's great repertoire ranges from Baroque to Contemporary, although he has a particular passion for the Romantic Period. He also has collaborations with André Previn and Oscar Peterson in other forms of music, such as jazz or ragtime.

Perlman, who has to go to his concerts with a cordless chair because of his discomfort, has a talent and a love of music that will inspire all musicians.

“I have a simple philosophy. It is necessary to separate talent from obstacles. The fact that I can't walk, that I need crutches, a chair, or anything, has nothing to do with me playing the violin.”

The virtuoso, who has contributed to organizing various initiatives around the world for the physically disabled, has devoted himself to conducting the orchestra in recent years. He takes place as the main guest in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and in St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as a music consultant.

The artist, who premiered many works devoted to him by American composers such as Earl Kim (1979) and Robert Starer (1981), has made a name for himself for years with his constantly growing discography and continues to make his name.

Perlman performed at the state dinner at the White House, attended by Queen Elizabeth, on 7 May 2007, at the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama in 2009, with John Williams 'Air and Simple Gifts' with Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet).

Some of the awards received by Perlman, who has achieved many successes throughout his life:

  • Grammy – Best Instrumental Solo Performance / With Orchestra (1977-1980-1981-1982-1987-1990-1995)
  • Grammy - Best Chamber Music Performance (1978- 1981 – 1987 – 1990)
  • Grammy - Best Classical Music Album / Brahms Violin Concerto (1978)
  • Grammy - Best Instrumental Solo Performance / Without Orchestra (1980)
  • Medal of Liberty (1986)
  • Emmy - Outstanding Performance Art in Classical Music / Perlman in Russia (1992)
  • Emmy – Outstanding Individual Achievement (1994)
  • Emmy - Outstanding Cultural Music And Dance Program / Itzhak Perlman In The Fiddler's house (1996)
  • Emmy - Outstanding Cultural Music And Dance Program / Itzhak Perlman Fiddling for the Future (1999)
  • National Medal of Arts (2000)
  • Kennedy Honorary Award (2003)
  • Juilliard - Honorary Doctorate and Centenary Medal (2005)
  • Grammy - Lifetime Achievement Award (2008)


And our selection of Perlman's great performances that we can't fit into this blog post;

Beethoven Violin Concerto - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

P. de Sarasate – Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20

Scent of a Woman: Tango (Por Una Cabeza)

In this week's blog post on musiconline, we conveyed the successful story of Itzhak Perlman, one of the most famous violin artists of our time.

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