Renowned Jewish Violinist, Itzhak Perlman, is born, 1945.
On This Day in Jewish History: August 31, 1945.
Itzhak Perlman, perhaps the greatest living classical violinist, was born on this day in 1945 in Tel Aviv. When he was 4 years old, Perlman contracted polio but it did not stop the young prodigy. He gave his first recital at the age of 10 and afterward studied at the Julliard School in New York. In the same year as his arrival in the United States, he appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, twice in 1958, and his virtuosity was introduced to the American television audience. He would never leave the musical limelight. He debuted at Carnegie Hall at the age of 18 and then embarked on his first tour.
Few contemporary classical artists have received the number of awards and recognitions as Perlman. He has been awarded 16 Grammy Awards in a range of categories including Best Instrumentalist, Best Solo Performance with an orchestra, Best Chamber Music Performance and Best Classical Album, plus Lifetime Achievement. In addition to countless concert hall performances around the world, including the Soviet Union and China, with orchestras including the New York, Philadelphia and Israel Philharmonics, Perlman’s violin has been heard by millions of movie-goers and television audiences. Most notable in this regard is his haunting solo performance for the score of Schindler’s List. In 2003, he was a Kennedy Center honoree, in 2000, a National Medal of the Arts recipient and in 2015 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama. And while Perlman has played the finest venues, including the White House, he has also played such popular venues as Citi Field prior to a New York Mets game in 2016.
Like many of the great violinists before him, Perlman has mentored young talents, holding teaching posts at Brooklyn College and Julliard. Since 2000, he has also stood before some of the world’s finest orchestras as conductor, and has led the Detroit Philharmonic and the Westchester Philharmonic. While Perlman’s home is the classical realm, he recorded a jazz album with pianist Oscar Peterson in 1994. For many of his listeners, he is cherished for the mournful melodies often associated with Jewish history, some of which are captured on his 1995 album In the Fiddler’s House. Perlman lives in New York City and his violin continues to thrill listeners around the world.