Part of: Great Artists I
A reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. He has performed with every major orchestra and at leading concert halls around the globe, and has been honored with 16 Grammy and four Emmy awards, as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Genesis Prize, and Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest distinction—granted by President Barack Obama in 2015. In 2003, he was also named a Kennedy Center Honoree.
Mr. Perlman’s 2017–2018 season features several key collaborations and appearances. In the spring of 2018, he and his longtime friend and collaborator Pinchas Zukerman play recitals with pianist Rohan De Silva in Boston, Newark, Miami, West Palm Beach, New York, and Washington, DC. In October 2017, he and Mr. Zukerman reunited with Zubin Mehta in a gala appearance at Carnegie Hall with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, celebrating the orchestra’s 80th anniversary. Throughout the season, Mr. Perlman makes appearances with Mr. De Silva in recitals across North America, plus a 10-city recital tour to Asia, which takes them to Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul, and beyond. On the orchestral front, Mr. Perlman leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony in play-conduct programs, and performs special gala concerts with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
A new documentary about Mr. Perlman, Itzhak, premiered in October as the opening film at the 2017 Hamptons International Film Festival. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Alison Chernick, the documentary details the virtuoso’s struggles as a polio survivor and Jewish émigré, and serves as a reminder of art’s vitality. The film will be released theatrically nationwide in March 2018. For more information, visit itzhakthefilm.com.
Mr. Perlman’s most recent album features him in a special collaboration with Martha Argerich. Released in 2016 by Warner Classics, it marked a historic first studio album for this legendary duo, exploring masterpieces by Bach, Schumann, and Brahms.
Pinchas Zukerman has remained a phenomenon in the world of classical music for more than four decades. His musical genius, prodigious technique, and unwavering artistic standards are a marvel to audiences and critics. Devoted to the next generation of musicians, his magnetism, passion, and enthusiasm for teaching have resulted in innovative educational programs in London, New York, China, Israel, and Ottawa. He is equally respected as a violinist, violist, conductor, pedagogue, and chamber musician.
This season marks Mr. Zukerman’s ninth as principal guest conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and third as the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s artist-in-residence. He joined his longtime friend Itzhak Perlman for a gala performance with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, followed by duo recitals in Boston, Newark, Miami, and West Palm Beach. He tours with cellist Amanda Forsyth and the Zukerman Trio; leads the National Arts Centre Orchestra; and performs as soloist and conductor of the Baltimore and Vancouver symphony orchestras, and the San Diego, Nashville, and New West symphonies, among others.
Mr. Zukerman chairs the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music, where he pioneered the use of distance-learning technology in the arts more than two decades ago. In Canada, where he served as music director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra from 1999 to 2015, he established the NAC Institute for Orchestra Studies and the Summer Music Institute, which encompasses programs for conductors, composers, and young artists. He currently serves as conductor emeritus of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and artistic director of its Young Artists Program.
Mr. Zukerman has been awarded the National Medal of Arts and Isaac Stern Award, and was appointed the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative’s first instrumentalist mentor in the music discipline. His extensive discography contains more than 100 titles and has earned him two Grammy Awards and 21 nominations. His recent critically acclaimed recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra includes works by Elgar and Vaughan Williams.
Rohan De Silva has partnered with violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman in worldwide recitals and collaborated with every notable violinist on the concert stage today. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Library of Congress, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Toyko’s Suntory Hall. In 2007, he was invited by President George W. Bush to perform at the White House; in 2012, President Barack Obama extended the same invitation. A native of Sri Lanka, Mr. De Silva was invited in 2015 by the prime minister of his country to perform for US Secretary of State John Kerry on his historic visit to that nation.
In the 2017–2018 season, Mr. De Silva performs recitals with Mr. Perlman across the United States and returns to Asia, visiting Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea. In the spring of 2018, Mr. De Silva will perform recitals with Mr. Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman in Boston, Newark, Miami, West Palm Beach, and at the Kennedy Center.
Mr. De Silva began his piano studies with his mother, Primrose De Silva, and Mary Billimoria. He spent six years at the Royal Academy of Music in London and received many awards, including the Grover Bennett Scholarship, Christian Carpenter Prize, Martin Musical Scholarship, Harold Craxton Prize, and Chappell Medal for best overall performance at the Royal College of Music’s piano competition. Mr. De Silva was the first recipient of a special scholarship in the arts from the President’s Fund of Sri Lanka. This enabled him to enter The Juilliard School, where he studied with Martin Canin, Felix Galimir, and violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay. He was named best accompanist at the Ninth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and received the Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award, presented to him by Mr. Perlman at Carnegie Hall.