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Born in 1945, Itzhak Perlman is a violin player, a conductor and a musical educator. The American-Israeli musician has performed at most of the leading classical music venues around the globe, as well as places such as the White House in Washington DC. He has played for monarchs and presidents, and is perhaps best known in popular culture for his violin work on John Williams' score for the Stephen Spielberg movie Schindler's List. In 2015, the violinist was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. As well as his classical work, which includes an extensive number of recordings and concerts of Baroque music, Perlman is a renowned performer of klezmers, a traditional form of Jewish music.
Itzhak Perlman's career milestones
Born in Tel Aviv before the state of Israel came into existence, Perlman gained an interest in music from a young age, often listening to classical music on the radio. He initially taught himself the basic techniques of violin playing on a toy instrument, before going on to be trained at the Shulamit Conservatory. Still a boy, the emerging prodigy travelled to the United States to study under the tutelage of Ivan Galamian at the world-renowned Juilliard School.
With a great reputation for highly skilled violin playing while he was still a student, Perlman started making a name for himself as a performer in the 1950s. He twice appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, for example, in that period, once featuring on that TV programme on the same bill as the Rolling Stones. By 1963, the musician had gained such a strong reputation that his concerts were being staged at the best amphitheatres, such as Carnegie Hall in New York. The performer embarked on tours of North America and then all over the globe, where he was in demand no matter what programme he was booked to play. Nevertheless, Perlman continued to make TV appearances, for example, turning up on the children's show Sesame Street.
In 1986, Perlman took part in a televised concert that was staged in New York to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. He also played with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in the later 1980s, including a notable series of concerts held in Poland. In addition to his work on film soundtracks and classical concerts, Perlman is a well-regarded jazz musician. He has played many jazz concerts and recorded an album with the jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, among others. Other musical collaborators he has worked with over the course of his distinguished career include Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern and Yuri Temirkanov, to name but three.
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