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Musical World

Itzhak Perlman

  • Conductor
  • Violinist
  • Teacher


Itzhak Perlman press reviews

“In addition to his musicianship, Mr. Perlman brings extraordinary charisma to his work… He is voluble, approachable, and majestic.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“As soloist in the Bach concerto [No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041], he brought his usual sweet, rich tone and effortless flow to the music.” The Chicago Sun-Times

“Itzhak Perlman wows the crowd… the applause was thunderous for Perlman… His technique, brilliant as it is, may not be as flashy as some of his contemporaries and (more particularly) his younger rivals, but for warmth of tone and generosity of spirit he remains without peer… An ambassador of the joys of music throughout his illustrious career…” The Toronto Star

“… in the Franck sonata – Perlman was at his finest, reminding us why he is tops, playing with deep musicality, exquisite finesse and the powerful concentration that draws you willingly into Franck’s rich obsessive world of harmonic double-meanings.” The Globe and Mail

“In the program of three sonatas by Beethoven, Franck and Debussy, the 56-year-old violinist demonstrated why he remains at the top of his game.  Each work was performed at a level few musicians ever attain, but Franck’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major was positively transcendent… the sonata showed Perlman’s ability to harness his superior technique to express subtle emotion… Everything that Perlman can bring to the music – distinct phrasing, tonal purity, perfect technique – came together to a higher level of expression of haunting beauty.”  Oakland Tribune

“Forty years into an international career, Itzhak Perlman still has the power to captivate an audience.  Charismatic stage presence, superb technique, mastery of a wide repertoire and an unfailing ability to communicate distinguish the violinist, who is widely recognized as one of the great virtuosos of his generation… Playing a program of works by Beethoven, Franck and Debussy, the Israeli-born musician displayed all the qualities that have placed him in the elite ranks of classical music’s bona fide superstars.” Contra Costa Times

“There are many fine violinists on today’s concert stages, but nobody else gives you quite the same feeling – the impression that the violin and the bow are really living extensions of each arm, and the music they make is really an extension of the player’s own voice and breath.  Perlman’s amazing control does recall that of his fabled predecessor; not even Heifetz could command a more compelling bow, one that moves with uncanny alacrity in skittering over fast passagework with incredible evenness.” The Seattle Times

“…Perlman’s name stands for ‘violinist’ as surely as Heifetz’s did in his own time, but it’s hard to think of two performers more different in image, manner, tone, and style.  What unites them is mastery of the instrument.”  The Boston Globe

“…Perlman’s playing… displayed the knowing maturity of a convincing artist… [his] dulcet sound soared by way of far-reaching songlike phrases; technical feats flickered with jesterlike confidence while each note breathed an affable sense of giving.” The Washington Post

“Perlman is a violinist with a broad, singing tone and a virtuosity that is all the more remarkable for its subtlety.  He projects a genial, magnetic personality and has a way of making audiences hang on his every note and word.  His phrasing over long lyrical lines, with understated dynamics and a gorgeous legato, is capable of wringing the last drop of emotion from the simplest music… A Perlman recital is something like what kids wish dinner could be – after the appetizer and main course, a steady stream of treats.” The Oregonian

“He’s probably played the Tchaikovsky concerto more than a thousand times, but last night he lived the piece again, like a great actor… Perlman tossed off the virtuoso elements with infectious charm, and sang lyrically from his soul.” Tribune-Review

“… there were many subtleties in Perlman’s performance.  Most notable was the way he made the sound of his violin rise naturally and smoothly out of the National Symphony Orchestra’s collective sound, take its time in the spotlight and sink seamlessly back in like a raindrop merging into an ocean.  This is an art no less challenging and crucial than the double stops and mercurial scales that set listeners gasping, and the way Perlman did it showed how he always gives his best, whether he is playing a cute little encore piece or a great concerto, whether he is in one of the world’s major concert halls or at an outdoor concert on an evening so warm and humid that he has to stop and mop his brow.” The Washington Post

“Technical display and the projection of passion are required here, and Perlman delivered generously on all counts, unflappable in tone, still astonishing with the bow, and sincere in sentiment and wit alike.” Los Angeles Times

“Perlman lured out all of the passion and fire in this often rambling [Elgar’s E minor Concerto]… As usual, the rapid-fire passagework was cleanly articulated, while every gorgeous low note (particularly in the slow movement) dripped with emotion – without falling into excess.” Rocky Mountain News

“Itzhak Perlman confirms top spot in violin world… the multitude in Orchestra Hall Monday night heard eloquent musical testimony why Perlman’s reputation the pre-eminent violinist of our day looks more secure than ever…[He] was at his best, relaxed and playing with his usual peerless technical ease on a trio of violin sonatas and encores… In the D-major violin sonata of Jean-Marie Leclair, Perlman’s poised and sweet – but not cloying – phrasing in the sarabande was nicely contrasted by his rhythmic bite and slight…” Chicago Tribune

“Perlman is as good as gold… Because he seems to be everywhere, and to infuse everything he touches with the magic of his golden, fluid tone, violinist Itzhak Perlman might easily be taken for granted.  Yet beyond the rapturous, seemingly effortless sound, the emotional arc of his playing is shaped to perfection.  And he attacks the violin repertoire… with comparably persuasive interpretive skill.  Perlman also is an extraordinary audience magnet.” Chicago Sun-Times