Violinist Itzhak Perlman will be awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Music by the University of Rochester when he performs in a sold-out concert with the Eastman School of Music’s Philharmonia under conductor Neil Varon this Saturday. University President Joel Seligman and Eastman Dean Jamal Rossi will present Perlman with the degree following his performance of Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor with the orchestra.
One of the world’s most distinguished violinists and a classical music icon, Perlman has performed with every major orchestra and in major concert halls around the globe. Born in Israel in 1945, he catapulted to national recognition in the United States when he appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. Following studies at the Juilliard School, he won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964 and launched a worldwide career that has earned him 15 Grammy Awards for his recordings and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a recipient of the Medal of Liberty and the National Medal of Arts and is a Kennedy Center Honoree.
Perlman has had a long association with the Israel Philharmonic as a conductor and has participated in many tours with the orchestra, including its first performances in Eastern bloc countries, China, and India.
Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his remarkable artistry, Perlman has appeared on television in PBS performance and documentary specials and series such as Live From Lincoln Center, as well as on such popular shows as The Late Show with David Letterman, Sesame Street, The Frugal Gourmet, The Tonight Show, and various Grammy Awards telecasts. He collaborated with film composer John Williams in Steve Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning film Schindler’s List, in which he performed the violin solos, and can also be heard as the violin soloist on the films Hero and Memoirs of a Geisha.
Perlman is actively involved in music education and has taught full-time at the Perlman Music Program at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota each summer since its founding in 1993. He currently holds the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Chair at the Juilliard School, where he has been on the faculty since 1999.
The sold-out concert with Perlman and the Eastman Philharmonia is at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and also features the Philharmonia under Varon performing Dvorak’s “Carnival” overture and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4.
# # #