Itzhak Perlman, conductor and violin

Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician.  Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to his irrepressible joy for making music.

Born in Israel in 1945, Mr. Perlman was propelled national recognition with an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. He won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964, which led to a burgeoning worldwide career. Since then, Itzhak Perlman has appeared as violin soloist with every major orchestra and in recitals and festivals around the world.

Mr. Perlman has further delighted audiences through his frequent appearances on the conductor’s podium.  He has performed as conductor with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, National Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the symphony orchestras of St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Montreal and Toronto, as well as at the Ravinia and Tanglewood festivals.  Internationally, Mr. Perlman has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic.

The 2013-2014 season takes Mr. Perlman to both new and familiar major centers around the world.  In fall 2013, he joined the Cleveland Orchestra as soloist for their opening-night gala, performed Tchaikovsky with the Toronto Symphony under the baton of Peter Oundjian, and embarked on an eight-city recital tour of Asia with pianist and longtime collaborator Rohan De Silva.  His conducting appearances include concerts with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, and he tours extensively in recital and orchestral concerts in cities across North America.  Mr. Perlman continues to celebrate the rich tradition of Jewish music with various performances in support of his Eternal Echoes project.  Further to his engagements as violinist and conductor, Mr. Perlman makes multiple speaking appearances this season, including in Orlando at RollinsCollege, Greensboro at GuilfordCollege and Palm Beach at the Society of the Four Arts.

In 2003, the JohnF.KennedyCenter for the Performing Arts granted Mr. Perlman a Kennedy Center Honor celebrating his distinguished achievements and contributions to the cultural and educational life of the United States.  He has performed multiple times at the White House, most recently in 2012 for Israeli President and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Shimon Peres; and at a State Dinner in 2007 for Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.  Mr. Perlman was honored to take part in the Inauguration of President Obama in 2009, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams alongside cellist Yo-Yo Ma, clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Gabriela Montero.

He proudly possesses four Emmy Awards and 15 Grammy awards.  He performed at the 2006 Academy Awards and at the Juilliard School Centennial gala, broadcast nationally on Live from Lincoln Center.  One of Mr. Perlman’s proudest achievements is his collaboration with film score composer John Williams in Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award winning film Schindler’s List, in which he performed the violin solos. 

Itzhak Perlman last appeared with the BSO in January 2012, performing two of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 as leader and soloist.