Onstage rehearsing with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman was focused, his bow moving alternately slow and fast over the strings of his violin. He paused only here and there to discuss small adjustments to the performance with the conductor ahead of the sold-out Saturday evening show.
But after, surrounded by a semicircle of eager young violinists and violists, he was friendly, almost silly. Perlman wanted to know what instrument each boy and girl played, what piece they were working on in orchestra. He joked with them about how young some parents want to start their child on an instrument these days — 17 months, in one case — and told them about the “get to know you” games he likes to use with new orchestras.
Everyone would say their name and their instrument, he said, but also their favourite movie and their favourite ice cream flavour.
“People come up with weird things,” he told them, “like lemon pistachio.”
Reprinted from the Winnipeg Free Press. Writer: Jane Gerster