Legendary violinist and Houston Symphony Artistic Partner Itzhak Perlman returns to the Jones Hall stage, performing Beethoven’s radiant Violin Romances and leading the Symphony in Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and the beloved Symphony No. 7 on Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23, 2021.
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The Perlman Music Program (PMP), a nonprofit musical education program led by Toby and Itzhak Perlman for young string musicians of rare and special talent, premieres its latest virtual collaborative performance: The Mendelssohn Project.
More than 140 students, alumni, and faculty came together from around the world, spanning countries and time zones and representing all 26 years of PMP’s history, to record an excerpt from the “Presto” movement from Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20.
The Mendelssohn Project was directed by Merry Peckham, Associate Director of The Perlman Music Program and Chair of Chamber Music at The New England Conservatory of Music. Merry envisioned a virtual tribute to PMP’s cherished annual tradition of performing the Octet for welcoming audiences on the program’s Shelter Island campus and beyond.
Performers met on Zoom in December for a rehearsal before recording and submitting their individual parts from home. Several editing sessions followed, overseen by producers Emma Boshi, Anna Kaplan, Merry Peckham, and Eric Silberger. Violinist and alumna Mariella Haubs created video sequences compiled through the years at PMP, providing unique behind-the-scenes glimpses of an extraordinary artistic community. The audio editor was Sean Yoo at NV Factory, and the video editor was Seth Babin.
Merry Peckham commented, “These virtual projects are the greatest silver lining of all that we’ve experienced during this pandemic. For this project, we put out the call to our PMP community, and we thought we might have 50 people take part. We ended up getting an enthusiastic yes from more than 140 people, representing every year of our 26-year history, from around the world.”
Merry continued, “We’ve been hosting virtual reunions and recording projects, and we are collaborating with our students and alumni all over the world. We share glimpses of family life with each other. These moments have ultimately brought our amazing community even closer.”
Toby Perlman, Founder and President of The Perlman Music Program, commented: “I’m not sure we knew, when we conceived of this project, how challenging it would be, but we got a terrific result. It’s amazing how connected our students feel to one another, and how beautifully our alumni have grown up, into wonderful people. It’s my dream come true”.
Founded by Toby Perlman in 1994, The Perlman Music Program (PMP) offers unparalleled musical training to young string players of rare and special talent. With a world-class faculty led by Itzhak Perlman and a signature summer program on Shelter Island, PMP is developing the future leaders of classical music within a nurturing and supportive community. The Perlman Music Program seeks to ensure that the very best musicians can take advantage of this opportunity, regardless of their financial means.
The Mendelssohn Project premieres on Friday, March 26 at 12:30 PM (Eastern), and will be available on demand following the premiere. The video will be available via the following links:
“I think the purpose of music is to make people who hear it feel that there is something better going on than that which they’re usually concerned with.” André Previn told Bruce Duffie in an interview. “I think that you really do get a glimpse of immortality, and of unalloyed, pure pleasure and joy out of music, and you don’t get it from anything else. So I’m very glad it’s around.”
Enjoy André Previn‘s composition ‘Look At Him Go’ with Itzhak Perlman, Shelly Manne, Jim Hall and Red Mitchell, from the ‘A Different Kind of Blues’ album.
Itzhak Perlman’s Bach Sonatas and Partitas is now available on vinyl for a limited time, exclusively at @barnesandnoble. Buy it in select stores and online now.
“Every moment of Itzhak Perlman’s 1988 Bach Sonatas and Partitas cycle constitutes sweetly singing, tonally generous, and technically irreproachable violin playing. His supreme bow control, for example, allows him to sustain unusually broad tempos in the D minor partita’s Chaconne and the C major sonata’s opening Adagio, while quicker movements burst forth with effortless, shimmering joy,” writes Jed Distler for ClasssicToday.Com
“Technically he (Itzhak Perlman) is beyond reproach; chords are traversed deftly—and in the Adagio of Sonata No. 3 skillfully subjugated to the melodic line, and his differentiation between marked pianos and fortes is very clear,” writes Gramophone.