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This past Saturday, October 24, 2020, Itzhak Perlman joined global health experts and Rotary International partners share our progress on the road to polio eradication.
Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5.
Most know it as poliovirus. The virus is spread person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can attack the nervous system, and in some instances, lead to paralysis. Although there is no cure, there is a safe and effective vaccine – one which Rotary and our partners use to immunize over 2.5 billion children worldwide.
Visit the Rotary International Facebook page to watch the video.
We’re closer than ever to eradicating polio but we’re not done yet. We still need funds to continue immunizations and surveillance efforts. Your gift will get us closer to the finish line.
Itzhak Perlman is a legend in his own lifetime, one of today’s greatest violinists and the recipient this week of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Gramophone Magazine. But now he has a surprising new role: lockdown hero. Through this bizarre year he has popped up on social media in a series of brief videos, telling jokes and playing short solo pieces. No wonder he’s clocked up more than six million views: he makes us laugh, cry and feel less alone. In many ways, he has been doing that all his life. When he beams into my Zoom screen, his image is so familiar that the only surprise is that I can actually speak to him.
This past Wednesday Gramophone Magazine honored Itzhak Perlman with the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Talk of a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ has a finality about it, but the vital spark that is Itzhak Perlman shows no sign of dimming. As I write, he is celebrating his 75th birthday, yet in a recent interview he cheerfully told the Chicago Tribune: ‘I’m not thinking 75. When I pick up the violin, and I start playing, I say to myself: “Oh, 75 is pretty good. Things are still working!”’
He has been honoured by three American presidents – even playing ‘live’ at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration (the performance was actually pre-recorded due to the cold weather) – and an Israeli prime minister. His recordings have garnered innumerable awards. His videos have won four Emmys. He has had three of the costliest fiddles at his disposal, by Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesù and Bergonzi.
Yet over and above this worldly success, he ranks among the great humanists of the string-playing sphere, alongside such names as Busch, Casals, Oistrakh Snr and Szigeti. He has too ready a sense of humour to be a saint or a high priest: still, he has borne bodily affliction with grace and dignity and has been both a role model and a spokesman for disabled people.
We British encountered Perlman in the late 1960s as one of a golden generation with Pinchas Zukerman, Jacqueline du Pré, Daniel Barenboim, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Zubin Mehta. Amid all the banter preserved on Christopher Nupen’s films, a quiet authority about his playing marked him out even in that company.
Itzhak Perlman’s home videos have been going viral with over 6+ million views across all of his social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). The maestro shares another story to help brighten up your day!