I have been inspired by many violinists, but one stands out in particular. This musician overcame a big obstacle in his life, and didn’t let it stop him from becoming extraordinary.
Itzhak Perlman was born in Tel Aviv, British Palestine on August 31, 1945. Having contracted polio at age four, he was able to make a good recovery. Today he walks using crutches and plays the violin while seated.
This is not a typical situation for most musicians, but Perlman didn’t focus on his limitations. Instead, he diligently studied the violin and became extremely accomplished.
Perlman first heard someone playing the violin on the radio, and this inspired him with a desire to play. From an early age, he studied violin at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv until moving to the United States to study at the Julliard School under master teachers Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay.
THE ROAD TO SUCCESS
In 1963, Itzhak Perlman made his debut at Carnegie Hall, as well as winning the Leventritt Competition in 1964. At this point he began to tour extensively, making appearances on American television programs. He has also played for several functions at the White House.
In 1987, Itzhak Perlman joined the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and toured Russia, China, and India, primarily as a solo artist. He has played with other notable musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Isaac Stern, Yuri Temirkanov, and Pinchas Zukerman.
ITZHAK, THE TEACHER
In 1975, he joined the faculty at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, and in 2003 succeeded his own teacher, Dorothy DeLay, at the Julliard School. Perlman also began his own music program on Long Island, New York, where he teaches master classes to promising young violinists.
THE MASTER’S VIOLIN
Itzhak Perlman has the privilege of playing an antique Soil Stradiviarius violin that was made in 1714. This violin was formerly owned by Yehudi Menuhim and is considered to be one of the finest made during Stradivarius’ “golden period.” He also plays the Sauret Guarneri del Gesu, made in 1743.
WHO IS YOUR INSPIRATION?