Dinner Topics for Friday
Itzhak Perlman Violin
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor
The home is the great laboratory of love. There the raw chemicals of selfishness and greed are melded in the crucible of cooperation to yield compassionate concern and love one for another. ~Russell M. Nelson
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor—Itzhak Perlman
Itzhak Perlman (Hebrew: יצחק פרלמן; born 31 August 1945) is an Israeli-American violinist, conductor, and music teacher. Over the course of his career, Perlman has performed worldwide, and throughout the United States, in venues that have included a State Dinner at the White House honoring Queen Elizabeth II, and at the Presidential Inauguration of President Obama, and he has conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the Westchester Philharmonic. In 2015, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Perlman was born in Tel Aviv to a Jewish family in 1945, known then as the British Mandate of Palestine, now Israel. His parents, Chaim and Shoshana Perlman, were natives of Poland and had independently immigrated to Palestine in the mid-1930s before they met and later married. Perlman contracted polio at age four and has walked using leg braces and crutches since then and plays the violin while seated. As of 2018, he uses crutches or an electric Amigo scooter for mobility.
Perlman first became interested in the violin after hearing a classical music performance on the radio. At the age of three, he was denied admission to the Shulamit Conservatory for being too small to hold a violin. He instead taught himself how to play the instrument using a toy fiddle until he was old enough to study with Rivka Goldgart at the Shulamit Conservatory and at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, where he gave his first recital at age 10. He moved to the United States to study at the Juilliard School with the violin pedagogue Ivan Galamian and his assistant Dorothy DeLay
Perlman appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show twice in 1958, and again in 1964, on the same show with the Rolling Stones. He made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1963 and won the Leventritt Competition in 1964. Soon afterward, he began to tour widely. In addition to an extensive recording and performance career, he has continued to make guest appearances on American television shows such as The Tonight Show and Sesame Street as well as playing at a number of functions at the White House.
Although he has never been billed or marketed as a singer, he sang the role of “Un carceriere” (“a jailer”) on a 1981 EMI recording of Puccini’s “Tosca” that featured Renata Scotto, Plácido Domingo, and Renato Bruson, with James Levine conducting. He had earlier sung the role in an excerpt from the opera on a 1980 Pension Fund Benefit Concert telecast as part of the Live from Lincoln Center series with Luciano Pavarotti as Cavaradossi and Zubin Mehta conducting the New York Philharmonic.
On 5 July 1986, he performed on the New York Philharmonic‘s tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, which was televised live on ABC Television in the United States. The orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, performed in Central Park.
In 1987, he joined the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) for their concerts in Warsaw and Budapest as well as other cities in Eastern bloc countries. He toured with the IPO in the spring of 1990 for its first-ever performance in the Soviet Union, with concerts in Moscow and Leningrad, and toured with the IPO again in 1994, performing in China and India.