Itzhak Perlman's Biography

Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to his irrepressible joy for making music.
Having performed with every major orchestra and at venerable concert halls around the globe, Mr. Perlman has established himself as a cultural icon and household name in classical music. He was granted a Kennedy Center Honor in 2003 by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in celebration of his distinguished achievements and contributions to the cultural and educational life of the United States.

The 2015-16 season commemorates Mr. Perlman’s 70th birthday with three album releases and worldwide concert tours. For the first time in many years, he tours with pianist and longtime friend Emanuel Ax in special duo recitals that take them to eight cities across America including Los Angeles (Disney Hall), San Francisco (Davies Symphony Hall), Chicago (Ravinia) and Washington D.C. (Kennedy Center). In December 2015, he performs at Carnegie Hall in a rare trio collaboration with pianist Evgeny Kissin and cellist Mischa Maisky, marking the first time he and Mr. Kissin have performed together. In March 2016, he celebrates the 20th anniversary of his popular klezmer program, In the Fiddler’s House, in comeback concerts with klezmer greats Andy Statman, Hankus Netsky and special guests from the Klezmer Conservatory Band and Brave Old World in Boston (Symphony Hall), Miami (Arsht Center) and West Palm Beach (Kravis Center). On the orchestral front, he performs season-opening gala concerts with the Toronto Symphony under Peter Oundjian and the Pittsburgh Symphony under Manfred Honeck, and makes conducting appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony. Throughout the season, Mr. Perlman performs with his regular collaborator, pianist Rohan De Silva, in recitals that take them across North America, Asia and to Europe in their first appearances as a duo in London (Barbican Centre), Paris (Philharmonie de Paris) and Munich (Gasteig).

Mr. Perlman has been honored with 16 Grammy Awards and four Emmy Awards. In 2008, he was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in the recording arts. This season in 2015, Mr. Perlman sees three record releases in celebration of his 70th birthday: A new Deutsche Grammophon album with pianist Emanuel Ax performing Fauré and Strauss Sonatas, a 25-disc box set of his complete Deutsche Grammophon and Decca discography, and a 77-disc box set of his complete EMI/Teldec discography titled Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings.

Over the past two decades, Mr. Perlman has become more actively involved in music education through his work with the Perlman Music Program and the Juilliard School, where he currently holds the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Chair. He has been honored to receive the “Medal of Liberty” from President Reagan in 1986, in 2000, the “National Medal of Arts” from President Clinton, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2015.