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Mendelssohn Piano Trios
Mendelssohn Piano Trios

Itzhak Perlman and Yo Yo Ma together again on this disc available now from amazon, iTunes and retail outlets.


Itzhak Perlman News
Itzhak Perlman’s Genesis Prize Laureate Address
Posted Mar 22, 2017 by itzhakperlman


Last year Israel’s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu presented the 2016 Genesis Prize to Itzhak Perlman. Over 500 Israeli and international dignitaries attended the ceremony, which was emceed by the prominent British actress Dame Helen Mirren.

The Genesis Prize honors exceptional individuals who have attained excellence in their professional field, have made a significant contribution to humanity, and serve as an inspiration to others through their dedication to Jewish values and the State of Israel. Established in 2013, the annual Prize carries a $1 million award and has been dubbed by Time Magazine as the “Jewish Nobel.”

Recently Ability Magazine published Itzhak Perlman’s Genesis Prize Laureate Address.

“When I was growing up in Tel Aviv, my parents were poor, and to get enough food was a constant challenge. I remember care packages arriving from an aunt in Toronto: home-made chicken soup in a jar, a can of Del Monte fruit cocktail with that red cherry, and a check for a few dollars. We were recipients of charity. We were on the other side of giving. We were receiving.

Besides the constant struggle to survive there was always at in the corner of our tiny apartment a “push-kele” for the Jewish National Fund. My parents would put in a penny or two when they could spare it. Giving tzedakah was a way of life, whether you could afford it or not. It was tradition. It was what we do.

It’s funny. Even though my circumstances have changed since I was a poor kid in Tel Aviv, those two childhood lessons still inform my life. I remain focused on getting enough to eat and the act of giving tzedaka. It won’t surprise you that I have little trouble these days finding enough to eat. The moral obligation to give charity is one that I take seriously.

It is a lesson that we Jews learn early. It starts in nursery school and continues until the day we die. Sometimes even after that. Somehow I know that after 20 years in the ground, I’ll still be getting requests from the United Jewish Appeal. “Itzhak, answer the phone! We know you’re there!”

It reminds me of the story I always tell at all fundraisers of the Jewish couple who are going on vacation from New York to Hawaii. In the middle of the flight the pilot comes up and says, “Folks, I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that we lost two engines and we have to land earlier than we planned, and we’re going to be over the ocean. But the good news is that when I was flying during the Second World War, I knew an island that was unchartered and we can land there. Of course, the problem is whether anybody will find us.”

So Mrs. Goldberg turns to Mr. Goldberg and she says, “Moshe, did you do the usual annual pledge of $100,000 to the UJA?” He said, “Yes, I did, dear.” “Did you pay it yet?” He said, “Not yet.” “Don’t worry, they’ll find us.” It’s not a true story, but it could be.

The charity we received from our Canadian cousins was not my only childhood experience with receiving tzedakah. When I was a student at The Julliard School in New York, a lady of means helped me out by providing taxi money to and from the school and funds for books and sheet music. It wasn’t a lot of money, but it made a difference.

She was not Jewish. She did not want anything in return. I suspect she had a soft spot for me because she had lost her daughter to polio. However, I’m sure that she influenced me. Her generosity did two things: it deepened my commitment to giving, and it also made me curious about the larger concept of charity and how it affects not just the recipient but also the giver. Her pure agenda taught me something about giving, and the Genesis Prize has given me an opportunity to make some of my dreams come true; to help others the way I was helped.

We have been hard at work trying to figure out how to make the most of this prize. You know, this prize is to give you the money and you have to give it right back, so it’s a good challenge. There are so many good causes, but one of the wonderful aspects of being given this prize is that I get to choose who, where and what I want to support.

You will not find my answers surprising. What is closest to my heart is not a secret. Classical music is my life and so are the problems of the disabled. Developing new talent is something my wife, Toby, and I have always supported through the Perlman Music Program. Our goal has always been to nurture a new generation of world-class musicians.

A portion of the award funds will be invested in developing superior training for talented musicians in Israel, to give them an opportunity to grow and bring their talents to the world stage as well. It’s continuing the growth of music and culture here in this country.

Another portion of the award will be invested in creating a better and fairer world for men, women and children with disabilities. To fully support those with disabilities and work with them to tear down barriers in their path, both attitudinal and physical.

In the coming weeks, you will hear details about some very exciting initiatives in both culture and music, and the establishment of a partnership with Matan in Israel and the Jewish Funders Network in the United States, which will lead to significant investment in supporting persons with disabilities.

I think of charity two ways. There is global charity – that’s the Bill Gates type, when one gives a giant amount to a large organization that helps thousands of people one does not know and will never meet. Don’t get me wrong, that’s important. Wherever the money goes to – cancer research, vaccinations for kids or mosquito netting to prevent malaria – lives are being saved.

Then there is the more personal type of tzedakah. That is what the woman from Detroit did. She gave knowing what it would mean to me. It didn’t save my life, but it changed my life. Which is better? Of course, both. Both types fulfill critical needs and both are worthy of our prayers.

Thank you, everyone, for this honor. The physical prize is wonderful, but what I will cherish even more is the opportunity you have given me to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. I am humbled and honored to receive this award.”

Itzhak Perlman Attends Mets Spring Training
Posted Mar 08, 2017 by itzhakperlman


Itzhak Perlman and pianist attended Mets Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, FB between multiple recital performances in Stuart, Fort Lauderdale and Gainesville, FL.

Mets Spring Training is one of the most exciting events of the entire baseball season. The sights and sounds of baseball’s past come to life during Spring Training like no other time.

Fans, players, and coaches are all reminded just why they love this game. The Mets are a part of the Grapefruit League. Their training facility is First Data Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida. First Data Field is located in Port St. Lucie, FL, a prime location for a great Florida experience. Port St. Lucie is only a couple of hours away from Orlando and minutes away from Hutchinson Island beaches and the PGA Village.

Mr. Perlman and pianist Rohan DeSilva perform at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 8 PM. BUY TICKETS NOW

Mr. Perlman and pianist Rohan DeSilva peform at the Curtis M. Phillips Center in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 7:30 PM. BUY TICKETS NOW

“Perlman, BPO Thrill ” A Sold-Out House At Kleinhans Music Hall
Posted Feb 28, 2017 by itzhakperlman


On February 25th, Itzhak Perlman performed for a rapt Buffalo audience of over 2,400 at Kleinhans Music Hall where there was not one empty seat in the house and patrons even fully occupied the standing-room section at the back of the hall. It was a highlight of the 2016-17 season for the Buffalo Philharmonic under their Music Director JoAnn Falletta. The program featured original compositions and arrangements for violin and orchestra, all by composer John Williams, from soundtracks ranging from Cinema Paradiso and Far and Away to Schindler’s List and Scent of a Woman.

Review: Perlman, BPO thrill the house with upbeat takes on classic movie themes
The Buffalo News
By Mary Kunz Goldman
February 25, 2017
Kleinhans Music Hall took on a Hollywood sheen on Feb. 25, as superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman played movie music with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
And at times, it really felt as if we were in a movie.
Perlman turned Kleinhans Music Hall, good naturedly, into the Itzhak Perlman Show. As JoAnn Falletta and the orchestra looked on laughing, the master took the mic.
After playing “As Time Goes By,” he cracked: “This is the national anthem of the musicians’ union.” The sold-out crowd lost it.

Before beginning the wistful music from “Cinema Paradiso,” Perlman told us: “If it doesn’t sound like ‘Cinema Paradiso,’ get used to it. It is ‘Cinema Paradiso.’”
Even “Schindler’s List,” one of the saddest movies of all time, was not immune.
Introducing it, Perlman explained that he had been asked to play the music for the movie soundtrack. With perfect comic timing, he added, “I said, ‘Uh … OK.’”
What a charming evening in the fiddler’s house.

This must be an easy night for Perlman. But there’s nothing wrong with that. Seeing him so relaxed made the audience kick back, too. His playing was so natural, so unaffected. You were free simply to enjoy.

The score to the remake of “Sabrina” wouldn’t be music most of us could call to mind, but listening to Perlman play it, you could see why he chose it. It was sensuous and his bow went gliding over the strings. “Far and Away,” another obscure selection on paper, came to life in his hands. This music– by John Williams, as was much of the music of the night – was fun. Lively, like a jig, it gave us a glimpse of Perlman’s real virtuosity. As it neared its ending, it soared into the high treble. Perlman added flourishes that seemed impromptu before winding it up with perfect grace, just as a dancer might.

The tango from “Scent of a Woman,” though full of Latin snap and dash, had an old-fashioned lilt that made me think of Fritz Kreisler. “I didn’t play this in the movie. They didn’t ask me,” Perlman jived.

Korngold’s music to “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” full of unaffected lyricism, was perhaps the loveliest thing we heard all night.

And the funniest thing we heard all night followed. Perlman spoke of Korngold’s Violin Concerto, which references some of those soaring Korngold movie themes. He asked Concertmaster Dennis Kim, “Do you play the concerto?” Kim, startled, admitted he did not.
“You don’t?” Perlman said. The question hung in the air. “Well, you should!”
How about it, Mr. Kim? Maybe for the season after next?

Perlman and the Philharmonic musicians seemed to like and inspire each other. Principal Cellist Roman Mekinulov played a kind of duet with him in “Cinema Paradiso,” and other musicians, too, played off him and with him. Falletta gave everyone room and just let the evening flow.

Between selections Perlman had fun with the audience, asking us movie trivia questions. Who played Marian to Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood? I wasn’t shy, and yelled out “Olivia de Havilland!” I wasn’t the only one. Who played Sabrina in the remake? That was tougher, but someone shouted it: Julia Ormond.


All in all, a beautiful and unusual evening, the likes of which we won’t probably see again. Unless we can get Perlman to come back with a dozen more movie themes. Can we?
Before Perlman made his entrance, Falletta primed the crowd with three energetic instrumentals. John Williams’ Overture to “The Cowboys” sparkled with percussion and pizzazz, like Aaron Copland. Bernstein’s Suite from “On the Waterfront” brimmed with percussion and virtuosity. The timing was impeccable. It can’t have been easy to pull off.

Rounding out the night was John Williams’ zesty take on “Hooray for Hollywood.”
To see the complete review , click here.

Itzhak Perlman Heads to Florida in February
Posted Feb 02, 2017 by itzhakperlman


Itzhak Perlman heads to the ‘sunshine state’ for a week of multiple performances. His Florida kicks off with a gala concert with the Florida Orchestra at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburgh, FL Itzhak Perlman will join Music Director Michael Francis on stage to perform some of his favorite music from the silver screen, including As Time Goes By from Casablanca, the Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso, and the Theme from Schindler’s List.

This extraordinary evening is also an important fundraiser to support TFO’s excellence in the concert hall and incredible reach into the Tampa Bay community.

On Monday, February 6th, Itzhak Perlman will open the 2017 season of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. He performs in recital with pianist Rohan DeSilva at the First Baptist Church in Fernandina Beach, FL. The duo appear at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota on the following day, Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

Violinist Itzhak Perlman shares Genesis Prize with Yiddish Book Center in Amherst
Posted Jan 18, 2017 by itzhakperlman
 (Dan Balilty / Associated Press)

(Dan Balilty / Associated Press)

Itzhak Perlman has shared some of the bounty of winning a $1 million Genesis Prize with the Yiddish Book Center, donating $50,000 to the center.

The Genesis Prize Foundation awards the prize to an individual who has “attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields, and who inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and/or the State of Israel,” according to a press release.

Perlman is using the award to support programs in the fields of music and culture and to projects that promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society, according to the release.

A portion of the gift to the center will be used for the Steiner Summer Yiddish Center, an intensive Yiddish language and culture program for college and graduate students.

The remainder will go to the Wexler Oral History Project, a growing collection of in-depth interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds whose stories offer a rich and complex chronicle of Jewish identity, according the book center’s press release.

“Mr. Perlman has been a friend of the Yiddish Book Center for many years,” said Aaron Lansky, the organization’s founder and president.

“He served as honorary campaign chairperson when we built our first building in 1997. Now, through this latest gift, he is helping to bring Yiddish learning to students at the Center and beyond our walls,” Lanky said in the statement.

This article was written by Diane Lederman. Reprinted from