Itzhak Perlman

Itzhak Perlman (Hebrew: יצחק פרלמן‎; born 31 August 1945) is an Israeli-American violinist, conductor, and music teacher. Over the course of his career, Perlman has performed worldwide, and throughout the United States, in venues that have included a State Dinner at the White House honoring Queen Elizabeth II, and at the Presidential Inauguration of President Obama, and he has conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the Westchester Philharmonic. In 2015, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Itzhak Perlman
Itzhak Perlman
Itzhak Perlman about to play the National Anthem at Citi Field in New York City in 2016
Background information
Native name
יצחק פרלמן
Born31 August 1945 (age 73)
Tel Aviv, British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel)
GenresBaroque, Classical, Romantic, Klezmer
Occupation(s)Violinist, conductor, music teacher
Years active1958–present
LabelsDeutsche Grammophon
EMI Classics
RCA Victor Red Seal

Early life

Perlman was born in Tel Aviv to a Jewish family in 1945, then British Mandate of Palestine, now Israel. His parents, Chaim and Shoshana Perlman, were natives of Poland and had independently immigrated to Palestine in the mid-1930s before they met and later married.

Perlman first became interested in the violin after hearing a classical music performance on the radio. At the age of three, he was denied admission to the Shulamit Conservatory for being too small to hold a violin.[1] He instead taught himself how to play the instrument using a toy fiddle until he was old enough to study with Rivka Goldgart at the Shulamit Conservatory and at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, where he gave his first recital at age 10.[2] He moved to the United States to study at the Juilliard School with the violin pedagogue Ivan Galamian and his assistant Dorothy DeLay.[3]

Perlman contracted polio at age four and has walked using leg braces and crutches since then[4] and plays the violin while seated. As of 2018, he uses crutches or an electric Amigo scooter for mobility.[5]



Ed Sullivan - Itzhak Perlman 1958
Ed Sullivan congratulates 13-year-old Itzhak Perlman after a concert (1958)

Perlman appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show twice in 1958, and again in 1964, on the same show with the Rolling Stones.[6] He made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1963 and won the Leventritt Competition in 1964. Soon afterward, he began to tour widely. In addition to an extensive recording and performance career, he has continued to make guest appearances on American television shows such as The Tonight Show and Sesame Street as well as playing at a number of functions at the White House.

Although he has never been billed or marketed as a singer, he sang the role of "Un carceriere" ("a jailer") on a 1981 EMI recording of Puccini's "Tosca" that featured Renata Scotto, Plácido Domingo, and Renato Bruson, with James Levine conducting. He had earlier sung the role in an excerpt from the opera on a 1980 Pension Fund Benefit Concert telecast as part of the Live from Lincoln Center series with Luciano Pavarotti as Cavaradossi and Zubin Mehta conducting the New York Philharmonic.

On 5 July 1986, he performed on the New York Philharmonic's tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, which was televised live on ABC Television in the United States.[7] The orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, performed in Central Park.

In 1987, he joined the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) for their concerts in Warsaw and Budapest as well as other cities in Eastern bloc countries. He toured with the IPO in the spring of 1990 for its first-ever performance in the Soviet Union, with concerts in Moscow and Leningrad, and toured with the IPO again in 1994, performing in China and India.

In 2015 on a classical music program entitled The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center produced by WQXR in New York City, it was revealed that Perlman performed the uncredited violin solo on the 1989 Billy Joel song The Downeaster Alexa.

While primarily a solo artist, Perlman has performed with a number of other musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Jessye Norman, Isaac Stern, and Yuri Temirkanov at the 150th anniversary celebration of Tchaikovsky in Leningrad in December 1990. He has also performed and recorded with his friend and fellow Israeli violinist Pinchas Zukerman on numerous occasions over the years.

As well as playing and recording the classical music for which he is best known, Perlman has also played jazz, including an album made with jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, and in addition, klezmer. Perlman has been a soloist for a number of film scores such as the theme of the 1993 film Schindler's List by John Williams, which subsequently won an Academy Award for Best Original Score. More recently, he was the violin soloist for the 2005 film Memoirs of a Geisha along with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Perlman played selections from the musical scores of the movies nominated for "Best Original Score" at the 73rd Academy Awards with Yo-Yo Ma and at the 78th Academy Awards.

Selected performances

Perlman at the White House in 2007

Perlman played at the state dinner attended by Queen Elizabeth II on 7 May 2007, in the East Room at the White House.[8]

He performed John Williams's "Air and Simple Gifts" at the 2009 inauguration ceremony for Barack Obama along with Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano), and Anthony McGill (clarinet). While the quartet did play live, the music played simultaneously over speakers and on television was a recording made two days prior due to concerns over the cold weather damaging the instruments. Perlman was quoted as saying: "It would have been a disaster if we had done it any other way."[9]

He made an appearance in Disney's Fantasia 2000 to introduce the segment Pines of Rome along with Steve Martin.

On 2 November 2018, Perlman reprised the 60th anniversary of his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show as a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.[10]


In 1975, Perlman accepted a faculty post at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College. In 2003, Mr. Perlman was named the holder of the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Chair in Violin Studies at the Juilliard School, succeeding his teacher, Dorothy DeLay. He also currently teaches students one-on-one at the Perlman Music Program on Long Island, NY, rarely holding master classes.

The Perlman Music Program

The Perlman music program, founded in 1995 by Toby Perlman and Suki Sandler, started as a summer camp for exceptional string musicians between the ages of 11 and 18.[11] Over time, it expanded to a year-long program. Students have the chance to have Itzhak Perlman himself coach them before they play at venues such as the Sutton Place Synagogue and public schools.[12] By introducing students to each other and requiring them to practice together, the program strives to have musicians who would otherwise practice alone and develop a network of friends and colleagues. Rather than remain isolated, participants in the program find an area where they belong.[13]


At the beginning of the new millennium, Perlman began to conduct.[14] He took the post of principal guest conductor at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He served as music advisor to the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra from 2002 to 2004. In November 2007, the Westchester Philharmonic announced the appointment of Perlman as artistic director and principal conductor. His first concert in these roles was on 11 October 2008, in an all-Beethoven program featuring pianist Leon Fleisher performing the Emperor Concerto.


Perlman plays the Soil Stradivarius violin of 1714, formerly owned by Yehudi Menuhin and considered one of the finest violins made during Stradivari's "golden period." Perlman also plays the Guarneri del Gesu 1743 'Sauret'[15] and the Carlo Bergonzi 1740 'ex-Kreisler'.

Personal life

Perlman resides in New York City with his wife, Toby, also a classically trained violinist. They have five children: Noah, Navah, Leora, Rami, and Ariella. Perlman is a distant cousin of Canadian comic and TV personality Howie Mandel.[16]


  • Tradition (1987)
  • Duos (1987)
  • Vivaldi: The Four Seasons/3 Violin Concertos (1992)
  • The American Album (1995)
  • In the Fiddler's House (1995)
  • Holiday Tradition (1998)
  • Concertos from My Childhood (1999)
  • The Essential Itzhak Perlman (Sony Classical, 2009)
  • Eternal Echoes (2012)
  • Violin Sonatas (Universal Music Classics/Deutsche Grammophon, 2015)
  • The Perlman Sound (Warner Classics, 2015)

With Andre Previn

With Oscar Peterson

  • Side by Side (TELARC CD-83341 1994)

Honors and awards


  1. ^ "Israeli Violin Prodigy Admits He Likes Jazz". Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Perlman, Itzhak". Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Perlman, Itzhak Biography: Contemporary Musicians". Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  4. ^ "'I WOKE UP AND I COULDN'T WALK': THIS IS THE POLIO THAT SHOULD BECOME JUST A MEMORY". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  5. ^ "How They Roll". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  6. ^ Duration: 60 min. "Watch The Ed Sullivan Show Season 12 Episode 8 Itzhak Perlman / Carol Lawrence & Larry Kert / Film: Ed Sullivan Visits Jerusalem". Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  7. ^ "Liberty Receives Classical Salute, Sun Sentinel, July 5, 1986". Archived from the original on 23 February 2015.
  8. ^ "News releases for May 2007" (Press release). The White House. 7 May 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2007.
  9. ^ Quartet pre-recorded Obama music. BBC News (23 January 2009).
  10. ^ Norman Lebrecht (2018-11-03). "60 Years On, Itzhak Perlman Reprises His Ed Sullivan Appearance".
  11. ^ "The Perlman Music Program: Toby's Project Grows and Grows". Strings. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  12. ^ "Perlmans' Proteges: The Perlman Music Program". Strings. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Perlman Student Stirling Trent". Strings. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  14. ^ "The Daily Gazette – Google News Archive Search". Google News. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Brownfield, Paul (21 June 1998). "New Afternoon Arrival". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  17. ^ "Newsweek cover story 1980". Archived from the original on September 14, 2002. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  18. ^ a b "Perlman awards". Archived from the original on September 14, 2002. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  19. ^ "President Obama Names Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom". The White House. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  20. ^ Phil Helsel – "Obama honoring Spielberg, Streisand and more with medal of freedom," NBC News, 24 November 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  21. ^ "Genesis Prize". Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  22. ^ Verongos, Helen T. (8 March 2018). "Review: 'Itzhak,' the Man and the Musician". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 March 2018.

External links

23rd Annual Grammy Awards

The 23rd Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 25, 1981, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and were broadcast live on American television. They recognized accomplishments by musicians from the year 1980.Album of the Year went to Michael Omartian and Christopher Cross for Christopher Cross, Record and Song of the Year went to Christopher Cross for "Sailing". Cross is currently the only artist in Grammy history to win all four General Field awards in a single ceremony, bringing home Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist.

A Different Kind of Blues

A Different Kind of Blues is a 1980 album by Itzhak Perlman and André Previn of compositions by Previn.

Air and Simple Gifts

Air and Simple Gifts is a quartet composed and arranged by American composer John Williams for the January 20, 2009, inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States. The first public performance of the piece was in Washington, D.C., immediately prior to Obama taking the oath of office, when musicians Anthony McGill (clarinet), Itzhak Perlman (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello) and Gabriela Montero (piano) synced their performance to a tape they had recorded two days earlier. It was the first classical quartet to be performed at a presidential inauguration. Obama officially became the President while the piece was being performed, at noon, as the United States Constitution stipulates.Although it appeared that the piece was being performed live, it was in fact mimed while a recording made two days before was fed to the television pool and speakers. Yo-Yo Ma told NPR's All Things Considered that the piano keys had been decoupled from the hammers, and the bows of the stringed instruments had been soaped to silence them. The performers stated that the cold weather could have affected the tuning and durability of the instruments, making a live performance too risky.Williams based the piece on the familiar 19th century Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" by Joseph Brackett. The source piece is famous for its appearance in Aaron Copland's ballet Appalachian Spring. Williams chose the selection from Copland, one of Obama's favorite classical composers.The piece is slightly under 4.5 minutes. It is structured in roughly three parts. The first section presents the "Air" material, consisting of a spare, descending modal melody introduced by violin, pensively explored in duet with cello and piano accompaniment. The entrance of the clarinet, playing the "Simple Gifts" theme, signals the beginning of a small set of variations on that melody. The "Air" melody at first intermingles with the "Gifts" theme, though it is supplanted by increasingly energetic variations. Midway through, the key shifts from A major to D major, in which the piece concludes. A short coda reprising the "Air" material follows the most vigorous of the "Gifts" variations. The piece concludes with an unusual series of cadences, ending with chord progression D-major followed by B-major, G-minor and finally D-major.

Yo-Yo Ma played his Stradivarius cello called the Davidov Stradivarius, made in 1712 during Stradivari's "golden period". Itzhak Perlman played his Stradivarius violin called the Soil Stradivarius, made in 1714 during Stradivari's "golden period". Gabriela Montero played a Steinway concert grand piano, model D-274. Anthony McGill played a Buffet clarinet.

Austin Symphony Orchestra

The Austin Symphony Orchestra is the oldest performing group in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1911, and celebrated its centenary year in 2011.

The inaugural concert was held on April 25, 1911. Initially, the orchestra consisted of 28 unpaid members and an unpaid conductor. It now has over 90 members, but is still not a full-time orchestra. It was not until 1948 that a paid Music Director was appointed - Ezra Rachlin being the first appointee – and a regular concert series was presented. Rachlin remained in the post for 21 years, until 1969. The current, and eighth, Music Director of the Austin Symphony Orchestra is Peter Bay, who has been in the post since 1997. Past Directors include Maurice Peress (1970–73), Akira Endo and Sung Kwak.Ezra Rachlin organised a drive-in concert, the world's first, in 1948. The first children's concert was held in 1951.The Centennial Gala Performance took place on April 28, 2011, and featured the violinist Itzhak Perlman as soloist, as well as a performance of Alexandre Luigini's Ballet égyptien, which was played at the very first performance a century earlier.The symphony plays its regular season concerts in Dell Hall at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Austin.

Bob Norberg

Bob Norberg was a recording engineer for Capitol Records, known for his work mixing or re-mastering recordings by many popular and classical artists, including Les Paul, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Itzhak Perlman, and many others.

It's often stated that he was at one point roommates with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys in the early 1960s. However, this was Bob Norberg of the duo Bob & Sheri, who went on to become a TWA pilot.

Concertos from My Childhood

Concertos from My Childhood is a collection of famous student concertos, performed by Itzhak Perlman. They are all important pieces in violin pedagogy for beginning to intermediate students. The orchestra is from New York's Juilliard School, where Perlman has been a professor since 1999.

Daniel Pearl Foundation

The Daniel Pearl Foundation is a foundation based in the United States. The foundation was formed by his parents Ruth and Judea Pearl after musician and Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in 2002. The organization's mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and innovative communications.

The honorary board of the Daniel Pearl Foundation includes Christiane Amanpour; former President Bill Clinton; Abdul Sattar Edhi; Danny Gill; John L. Hennessy; Ted Koppel; Queen Noor of Jordan; Sari Nusseibeh; Mariane Pearl; Itzhak Perlman; Harold M. Schulweis; Craig Sherman; Paul Steiger; and Elie Wiesel.

Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra

The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra is an orchestra in Evansville, Indiana. Founded in 1934, the orchestra consists of approximately 80 musicians led by conductor Alfred Savia (who will step down after 2019/2020 season). It is the largest arts institution in the Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois tri-state area.The orchestra balances performances by internationally renowned soloists and local artists, popular works and twentieth-century compositions, as well as familiar solo instruments. Past performers have included soloists Itzhak Perlman, André Watts, Roger Williams, Judy Collins, Doc Severinsen, Sandi Patty, Joshua Bell, Frederica von Stade, Daniel Rodriguez, the Eroica Trio, Edgar Meyer, and Béla Fleck.

The organization also features two youth orchestras, the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra for high school students and the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra II for middle school students.

The orchestra is governed by a board of directors made up of community volunteers and employs a small full-time and part-time staff.

Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra)

The Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra) was awarded from 1959 to 2011. From 1967 to 1971 and in 1987 the award was combined with the award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra) and awarded as the Grammy Award for Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist or Soloists (with or without orchestra).

The award has had several minor name changes:

In 1959 the award was known as Best Classical Performance - Instrumentalist (with concerto scale accompaniment)

In 1960 it was awarded as Best Classical Performance - Concerto or Instrumental Soloist (with full orchestral accompaniment)

In 1961 it was awarded as Best Classical Performance - Concerto or Instrumental Soloist

In 1962 it was awarded as Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist (with orchestra)

From 1963 to 1964 it was awarded as Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist or Soloists (with orchestra)

In 1965 it was awarded as Best Performance - Instrumental Soloist or Soloists (with orchestra)

From 1966 to 1991 and in 1994 it was awarded as Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist or Soloists (with orchestra) (or a very similar equivalent)

In 1992 it was awarded as Best Instrumental Soloist With Orchestra

In 1993 it was awarded as Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Solo With Orchestra

From 1995 to 2011 it was awarded as Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra)In 2012, following a major overhaul of Grammy categories, the award was discontinued, merging with the Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (Without Orchestra) category to form the new Best Classical Instrumental Solo category. This is basically a return to the situation from 1967 to 1971.

Years reflect the year in which the Grammy Awards were presented, for works released in the previous year.

Memoirs of a Geisha (soundtrack)

Memoirs of a Geisha: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the film score to the 2005 film of the same name, composed and conducted by John Williams. The original score and songs were composed and conducted by Williams and features Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman as cellist and violinist, respectively. The soundtrack album was released by Sony Classical Records on November 22, 2005.

The score won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, BAFTA Award for Best Film Music and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score but lost to the original score of the film Brokeback Mountain.

Navah Perlman

Navah Miriam Perlman

is a concert pianist and

chamber musician.

Her parents are violinists Toby and Itzhak Perlman.

Perlman Music Program

The Perlman Music Program is a summer program for gifted young musicians. Founded by Toby Perlman, wife of Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman, in 1995, the program is headquartered in Shelter Island, New York. It offers exceptionally talented young string players, aged 12 to 18, a six-week summer residential courses in solo performance, chamber music, string orchestra and chorus singing, with a faculty led by Itzhak Perlman. In addition to the summer program, students receive year-round mentoring and participate in international studies and performance tours.

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Special (Live)

The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Special (Live) is awarded to one live television special each year. The award was presented as Outstanding Special Class Program until it was restructured for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards.In the following list, the first titles listed in gold are the winners; those not in gold are nominees, which are listed in alphabetical order. The years given are those in which the ceremonies took place.

Rohan de Silva

Rohan De Silva is a Sri Lankan pianist. De Silva initially studied at Isipathana College, Colombo and later he migrated abroad to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London and The Juilliard School, New York, while working closely with violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay. He has been awarded numerous prizes and scholarships including a special prize as Best Accompanist at the 1990 Ninth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The following year, De Silva joined the collaborative arts and chamber music faculty of the Juilliard School. In 1992, he was awarded honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. His radio and television credits include The Tonight Show, CNN's “Showbiz Today”, NHK Television in Japan, NPR, WQXR and WNYC in New York, and Berlin Radio. He has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, CBS/Sony Classical, Collins Classics in London, and RCA Victor.

De Silva has accompanied violin virtuosos Itzhak Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, Midori, Joshua Bell, Vadim Repin, Gil Shaham, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and others at venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, the Philadelphia Academy of Music, the Ambassador Theater in Los Angeles, Chicago Lyric Opera's Ardis Krainik Theatre, and concert halls in Europe, Japan and Israel. His festival appearances in the United States and abroad include the Aspen, Interlochen, Manchester, and Ravinia festivals, and festivals in Japan and New Zealand. He performs frequently with Itzhak Perlman, including PBS's Live from Lincoln television program. He is currently a faculty member at the Perlman Music Program on Long Island, The Juilliard School and the Ishikawa Music Academy in Japan.

On May 7, 2007, he performed for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at a White House Dinner upon the request of U.S. President George W. Bush and the First Lady Laura Bush. On June 13, 2012, he performed for Israeli president Shimon Peres, again with violinist Itzhak Perlman, at the invitation of President Barack Obama.

Schindler's List (soundtrack)

Schindler's List: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the film score of the 1993 film of the same name, composed and conducted by John Williams. The original score and songs were composed by Williams, and features violinist Itzhak Perlman.The album won the Academy Award for Best Original Score, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. It also received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Score.

Theme from Schindler's List is one of the most recognized contemporary film scores, particularly the violin solo. Many high-level figure skaters have used this in their programs, including Katarina Witt, Irina Slutskaya, Johnny Weir, and Yulia Lipnitskaya.

Side by Side (Oscar Peterson and Itzhak Perlman album)

Side by Side is a 1994 studio album by pianist Oscar Peterson and violinist Itzhak Perlman.

Soil Stradivarius

The Soil Stradivarius (pronounced [swal]) of 1714 is an antique violin made by Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari of Cremona (1644–1737). A product of Stradivari’s golden period, it is considered one of his finest.

One of two Stradivari violins named after Belgian industrialist Amédée Soil, this instrument is characterized by its brilliant red varnish and a two-piece maple back with the flames of the grain joined, descending from the edges toward the center.

The provenance of this violin includes the French luthier and collector Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, the Viennese collector Oscar Bondy, who also owned the Hellier Stradivarius of 1679. The Soil was acquired by Yehudi Menuhin in 1950, and in 1986 by Itzhak Perlman who with this instrument recorded the Cinema Serenade with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1997.

Other sobriquet Soil violins are the Stradivari of 1708, and two by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù of 1733, and 1736.

Steven Epstein (music producer)

Steven Epstein is an American record producer. He has won fifteen Grammy Awards and nominated 35 times. He has won Classical Producer of the Year seven times. While he is primarily known for his work in classical music, Epstein has Grammy nominations and wins for albums in musical theater, musical show, crossover, soundtrack, and spoken word for children.He has worked with Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis (classical and jazz), Plácido Domingo, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Murray Perahia, Emanuel Ax, Bobby McFerrin, Juilliard String Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, Fine Arts Quartet, and Punch Brothers. He has worked with the Vienna, Berlin and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, and with the Chicago, Cleveland, London, Concertgebouw, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles Symphony Orchestras.

Westchester Philharmonic

The Westchester Philharmonic is a professional symphony orchestra based in Westchester County, NY. The orchestra performs in the concert hall of the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College.

The orchestra was founded in 1983 by a group of music lovers, led by flutist Paul Lustig Dunkel, who served for 25 years as the orchestra's music director and conductor. The orchestra originally was known as the New Orchestra of Westchester. In the early 1990s, the name Westchester Philharmonic was adopted.

The orchestra has developed a reputation for presenting new compositions and upcoming artists. A piece commissioned by the Philharmonic from composer Melinda Wagner, Concerto for Flute, Strings, and Percussion, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1999. The orchestra was also among the first to present violinist Midori Goto in concert.

In 2006, Dunkel announced he would retire as music director and conductor after the Philharmonic's 25th anniversary season. In November, 2007, the orchestra announced the appointment of Itzhak Perlman as artistic director and principal conductor. Perlman debuted as the orchestra's conductor on October 11, 2008 in an all-Beethoven program; the Emperor Concerto with pianist Leon Fleisher and Symphony No. 7. The orchestra is currently led by two principal conductors renowned violinist Jaime Laredo and award-winning Broadway conductor Ted Sperling.

Awards for Itzhak Perlman

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