Renowned Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at a concert, titled “A Concert for Peace and Unity,” in honor in honor of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting victims’ families.
American Masters Presents Exclusive U.S. Broadcast Premiere of Itzhak Perlman Documentary October 14 on PBS.
Features new interviews with the world-renowned violinist, his family, friends and colleagues including Billy Joel, Alan Alda, pianist Martha Argerich and cellist Mischa Maisky
From Schubert to Strauss, Bach to Brahms, Mozart to…Billy Joel, Itzhak Perlman’s violin playing transcends mere performance to evoke the celebrations and struggles of real life. Director Alison Chernick’s (The Jeff Koons Show, Matthew Barney: No Restraint) new documentary provides an intimate, cinéma vérité look at the remarkable life and career of this musician, widely considered the world’s greatest violinist. American Masters: Itzhak premieres nationwide Sunday, October 14 at 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) and will be available to stream the following day via pbs.org/americanmasters and PBS apps.
The film looks beyond the 16-time Grammy-winning musician to see the polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel, and the young man who struggled to be taken seriously as a music student when schools saw only his disability. In the film, Perlman’s life story unfolds through conversations with fellow musicians and friends, including Billy Joel, Alan Alda, pianist Martha Argerich, cellist Mischa Maisky, and his wife of 50 years, Toby. The Perlmans dedicate their lives to their large Jewish family in New York City, shared love for music and continual support of young musicians. American Masters: Itzhak is a portrait of musical virtuosity that explores themes of Jewish identity, Jewish history, humor and love.
“I wanted the viewer to experience what makes Itzhak special rather than be told so through a series of talking heads,” said Chernick. “The sound Itzhak generates comes from his heart and flows through his hands. Through this film, we come to realize how extraordinary this process really is.”
Itzhak had its world premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival as the opening night film and was shown at numerous festivals including DOC NYC and the Palm Springs International Film Festival, where it won Best of Fest. The film will be available on DVD November 6 via Kino Lorber.
Launched in 1986 on PBS, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 13 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. To further explore the lives and works of masters past and present, American Masters offers streaming video of select films, outtakes, filmmaker interviews, the American Masters Podcast, educational resources and more. The series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and also seen on the WORLD channel.
American Masters: Itzhak is a production of Voyeur Films and American Masters Pictures. Helen Yum is editor. Alison Chernick is director and producer. Penny Lieberman is executive producer. For American Masters, Michael Kantor is executive producer.
The Perlman Music Program (perlmanmusicprogram.org) invites all to attend a special summer treat: Violin Fest on the Perlmam Music Program (PMP) campus located at 73 Shore Road, Shelter Island Heights, NY, 11965.
PMP alumni Stella Chen, Ariel Horowitz and Luke Hsu will give three concerts at the Clark Arts Center as they prepare for the prestigious International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.
Violin Fest details
The performances, free and open to the public, are Friday, August 17 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, August 19 at 11:30 am.
Violinist Stella Chen has been praised by the Wall Street Journal as a “rising star to watch”. She’s a graduate of the Harvard College/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. There, she studied with Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried. She performed as a soloist on tour in Israel and Jordan with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín in Colombia.
In fall 2016 she began her Doctorate of Musical Arts program at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Sylvia Rosenberg and Donald Weilerstein. PMP audiences may recall she gave a solo recital here last May. Chen recently was featured on WQXR’s “Midday Masterpieces”.
Hailed by The Washington Post as “sweetly lyrical”, violinist Ariel Horowitz says on her website, arielhorowitz.com, that she cannot remember life before loving music.
Top prize honors include the Stulberg and Irving M. Klein International String Competitions and The Juilliard School’s Violin Concerto Competition. A student of Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho, Horowitz attends The Juilliard School as a recipient of the Arnold R. Deutsch/Dorothy DeLay Scholarship.
American violinist Luke Hsu has been praised for his “sensitivity in tone and deep understanding of every music he plays” (Wieniawski Newspaper). His repertoire ranges from the 17th century to today.
Honors listed on his website include: winner of the 15th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition (2016)first prize and the Isang Yun prize at the 12th ISANGYUN International Violin Competition (2014) top prize winner at the 10th Nielsen International Violin Competition (2016) and the 6th Windsor International String Competition (2017), first prize and audience prize winner of the Ima Hogg Houston Symphony Competition (2016), and laureate of the 2013 Concours Musical International de Montreal
An avid chamber musician, Hsu plays with the Beacon Street Trio. It was formed at the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Donald Weilerstein. He also studied with Cho-Liang Lin at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University and is now at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying with Rodney Friend.
PMP’s Stires-Stark Alumni Recital Series
The Violin Fest performances bookend the first concert of PMP’s 2018 Stires-Stark Alumni Recital Series.
On Saturday, August 18, PMP alum violinist Stephen Waarts gives a recital of Fauré, Ravel, Schumann, and Stravinsky. Accompanying him is pianist Chelsea Wang. Tickets are $25 for adults; those 18 and under attend free of charge.
Buy yours online for the 7:30 p.m. performace at the Clark Arts Center, 21 Shore Road, Shelter Island Heights.
Alison Chernick’s documentary, “Itzhak” recently won it’s fourth AUDIENCE AWARD at the Rochester Jewish Film Festival. The film’s previous wins include the Miami Jewish Film Festival 2018, the Palm Springs International Film Festival 2018, and the Pittsburgh Jewish Film Festival 2018.
From Schubert to Strauss, Bach to Brahms, Mozart to Billy Joel, Itzhak Perlman’s violin playing transcends mere performance to evoke the celebrations and struggles of real life. Alison Chernick’s enchanting documentary looks beyond the sublime musician to see the polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel, and the young man who struggled to be taken seriously. Itzhak himself is funny, irreverent and self-deprecating, and here his life story unspools in conversations with masterful musicians, family and friends, and most endearingly his devoted wife of 50 years. As charming and entrancing as the famous violinist himself, ITZHAK is a portrait of musical virtuosity seamlessly enclosed in warmth, humor and, above all, love.
“ITZHAK is a joyous film about a joyous man.”
– Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com
“‘Itzhak” documentary is available for rent/purchase on both iTunes and Amazon.
“‘Itzhak” documentary will be available for rent/purchase on both iTunes and Amazon starting Friday, July 20, 2018.
“ “Itzhak” is ideal for Perlman fans, but it’s also persuasive enough to create new fans. It’s just impossible not to like this guy” – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle.
From Schubert to Strauss, Bach to Brahms, Mozart to…Billy Joel, Itzhak Perlman‘s violin playing transcends mere performance to evoke the celebrations and struggles of real life; “praying with the violin,” says renowned Tel Aviv violinmaker Amnon Weinstein. Alison Chernick‘s enchanting documentary looks beyond the sublime musician to see the polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel, and the young man who struggled to be taken seriously as a music student when schools saw only his disability. Itzhak himself is funny, irreverent and self-deprecating, and here his life story unspools in conversations with masterful musicians, family and friends, and most endearingly his devoted wife of 50 years, Toby. Itzhak and Toby’s lives are dedicated to their large, loving, Jewish family in NYC and their continual support of young musicians. As charming and entrancing as the famous violinist himself, ITZHAK is a portrait of musical virtuosity seamlessly enclosed in warmth, humor, and above all, love.