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Itzhak Perlman | Emanuel Ax: Bio

Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to the irrepressible joy of making music, which he communicates. In January 2009, Mr. Perlman was honored to take part in the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing with clarinetist Anthony McGill, pianist Gabriela Montero, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. In December 2003 the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts granted Mr. Perlman a Kennedy Center Honor celebrating his distinguished achievements and contributions to the cultural and educational life of our nation. In May 2007, he performed at the State Dinner for Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush at the White House.

Born in Israel in 1945, Mr. Perlman completed his initial training at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. He came to New York and soon was propelled into the international arena with an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. Following his studies at the Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay, Mr. Perlman won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964, which led to a burgeoning worldwide career. Since then, Itzhak Perlman has appeared with every major orchestra and in recitals and festivals around the world.

Mr. Perlman is a frequent presence on the conductor's podium, and through this medium he is further delighting his audiences. He has performed as conductor with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Montreal and Toronto, as well as at the Ravinia and OK Mozart festivals. He was Music Advisor of the St. Louis Symphony from 2002 to 2004 where he made regular conducting appearances, and he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Detroit Symphony from 2001 to 2005. Internationally, Mr. Perlman has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic.

Mr. Perlman's 2012-13 season will take his performances as soloist to both new and familiar major centers throughout the world. In the fall of 2012, he appears with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on a play/conduct program for the Orchestra's opening night; immediately thereafter, he joins the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall under Music Director Alan Gilbert in their season opening concert, to be televised on PBS's Live From Lincoln Center. In October 2012, Mr. Perlman will travel to South America for recitals in Peru, Brazil, and Argentina with pianist and frequent collaborator, Rohan De Silva. Other highlights of his 2012-13 season include the release of his new album Eternal Echoes on the SONY Classical label and various performances in support of the album, including Boston and New York. He will make an extensive tour of recitals and orchestral appearances in cities across North America including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Montreal, Kansas City, Sarasota, Houston, Las Vegas, and Seattle.

A major presence in the performing arts on television, Itzhak Perlman has been honored with four Emmy Awards, most recently for the PBS documentary Fiddling for the Future, a film about the Perlman Music Program and his work as a teacher and conductor there. In July of 2004, PBS aired a special entitled Perlman in Shanghai which chronicled a historic and unforgettable visit of the Perlman Music Program to China, featuring interaction between American and Chinese students and culminating in a concert at the Shanghai Grand Theater and a performance with one thousand young violinists, led by Mr. Perlman and broadcast throughout China. Mr. Perlman's third Emmy Award recognized his dedication to Klezmer music, as profiled in the 1995 PBS television special In the Fiddler's House, which was filmed in Poland and featured him performing with four of the world's finest Klezmer bands.

Mr. Perlman has entertained and enlightened millions of TV viewers of all ages on popular shows as diverse as The Late Show with David Letterman, Sesame Street, the PBS series The Frugal Gourmet, the Tonight show, the Grammy awards telecasts, and numerous Live From Lincoln Center broadcasts, including The Juilliard School: Celebrating 100 Years in April 2006, and PBS specials, including A Musical Toast and Mozart by the Masters, in which he served both as host and featured performer. In April 2008, Mr. Perlman joined renowned chef Jacques Pépin on Artist's Table to discuss the relationship between the culinary and musical arts. Mr. Perlman lent his voice as the narrator of Visions of Israel, the 20th program in WLIW New York's acclaimed Visions series, which premiered on PBS in June 2008. In July 1994, Mr. Perlman hosted the U.S. broadcast of the Three Tenors, Encore! live from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. In March 2006, a worldwide audience in the hundreds of millions saw Mr. Perlman perform live on the 78th Annual Academy Awards telecast, as he performed a medley from the five film scores nominated in the category of Best Original Score. One of Mr. Perlman's proudest achievements is his collaboration with film score composer John Williams in Steven Spielberg's Academy Award winning film Schindler's List, in which he performed the violin solos. He can also be heard as the violin soloist on the soundtrack of Zhang Yimou's film Hero (music by Tan Dun) and Rob Marshall's Memoirs of a Geisha (music by John Williams).

In February 2008, Itzhak Perlman was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in the recording arts. His recordings regularly appear on the best-seller charts and have garnered fifteen Grammy Awards. His most recent releases include an all-Mozart recording with the Berlin Philharmonic (EMI) with Mr. Perlman performing as both soloist and conductor and a recording for Deutsche Grammophon with Mr. Perlman conducting the Israel Philharmonic. Other recordings reveal Mr. Perlman's devotion to education, including Concertos from my Childhood with the Juilliard Orchestra under Lawrence Foster (EMI) and Marita and her Heart's Desire, composed and conducted by Bruce Adolphe (Telarc). Other recordings over the past decade have included a Grammy-nominated live recording with pianist Martha Argerich performing Beethoven and Franck Sonatas (EMI); Cinema Serenade featuring popular hits from movies with John Williams conducting (Sony); A la Carte, a recording of short violin pieces with orchestra (EMI) and In the Fiddler's House, a celebration of Klezmer Music (EMI) that formed the basis of the PBS television special. In 2004, EMI released The Perlman Edition, a limited-edition 15-CD box set featuring many of his finest EMI recordings as well as newly compiled material and RCA Red Seal released a CD titled Perlman reDISCOVERED which includes material recorded in 1965 by a young Itzhak Perlman.

Mr. Perlman has a long association with the Israel Philharmonic, and he has participated in many groundbreaking tours with this orchestra from his homeland. In November of 1987 he joined the IPO for history-making concerts in Warsaw and Budapest, representing the first performances by this orchestra and soloist in Eastern bloc countries. He again made history as he joined the orchestra for its first visit to the Soviet Union in April/May of 1990, and was cheered by audiences in Moscow and Leningrad who thronged to hear his recital and orchestral performances. This visit was captured on a PBS documentary entitled Perlman in Russia which won an Emmy. In December of 1994 Mr. Perlman joined the Israel Philharmonic for their first visits to China and India.

Over the past decade Mr. Perlman has become more actively involved in educational activities. He has taught full time at the Perlman Music Program each summer since it was founded and currently holds the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Chair at the Juilliard School.

Numerous publications and institutions have paid tribute to Itzhak Perlman for the unique place he occupies in the artistic and humanitarian fabric of our times. Harvard, Yale, Brandeis, Roosevelt, Yeshiva and Hebrew universities are among the institutions which have awarded him honorary degrees. He was awarded an honorary doctorate and a centennial medal on the occasion of Juilliard's 100th commencement ceremony in May 2005. President Reagan honored Mr. Perlman with a "Medal of Liberty" in 1986, and in December 2000, President Clinton awarded Mr. Perlman the "National Medal of Arts." His presence on stage, on camera and in personal appearances of all kinds speaks eloquently on behalf of the disabled, and his devotion to their cause is an integral part of Mr. Perlman's life.

 

Born in Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. His studies at the Juilliard School were supported by the sponsorship of the Epstein Scholarship Program of the Boys Clubs of America, and he subsequently won the Young Concert Artists Award. Additionally, he attended Columbia University where he majored in French. Mr. Ax captured public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975 he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists followed four years later by the coveted Avery Fisher Prize.

Two major projects are planned for the second half of the upcoming 2014-15 season, the first being a two week "Celebrate the Piano" festival with the Toronto Symphony curated by Mr. Ax that will present performances by multiple pianists, including Mr. Ax, exploring the many facets of the piano. The second will be a European  tour with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin beginning with a joint appearance in Carnegie Hall. Throughout the season he will return to the orchestras of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Washington, Nashville, Atlanta, St. Louis, Montreal and Ottawa. Recitals will take him to Vancouver, San Francisco and the mid-west ending in Lincoln Center's Tully Hall where he will also appear in duo with baritone Simon Keenlyside. In Europe he will return to the Berlin Philharmonic followed by a tour to Vienna, Salzburg, Graz and London performing Winterreise with Simon Keenlyside as well as presenting both Brahms Concerti in Amsterdam and Paris with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Bernard Haitink. Other European orchestras this season feature the London Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Tonhalle Zurich and the National Orchestras of Toulouse and Lyon.

The 2013/14 season began with appearances at the Barbican Centre followed by Lincoln Center with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink as well as collaborations with the Concertgebouworkester and Mariss Jansons in Amsterdam, Bucharest, China and Japan during their world-wide centenary celebrations. The second half of the season saw the realization of a project inspired by Brahms which included new pieces from composers Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, and Brett Dean all producing works linked to Brahms commissioned jointly between the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cal Performances Berkeley, Chicago Symphony and Carnegie Hall with the participation of collaborators Anne-Sophie von Otter and Yo-Yo Ma. To conclude the season, he traveled  to Hong Kong and Australia for a complete cycle of Beethoven concerti with Chief Conductor David Robertson in Sydney and with Sir Andrew Davis in Melbourne.

A Sony Classical exclusive recording artist since 1987, recent releases include Mendelssohn Trios with Yo-Yo- Ma and Itzhak Perlman, Strauss's Enoch Arden narrated by Patrick Stewart, and discs of two-piano music by Brahms and Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman. Mr. Ax has received GRAMMY® Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn's piano sonatas. He has also made a series of Grammy-winning recordings with cellist Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. His other recordings include the concertos of Liszt and Schoenberg, three solo Brahms albums, an album of tangos by Astor Piazzolla, and the premiere recording of John Adams's Century Rolls with the Cleveland Orchestra for Nonesuch. In the 2004/05 season Mr. Ax also contributed to an International EMMY® Award-Winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust that aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In 2013, Mr. Ax's recording Variations received the Echo Klassik Award for Solo Recording of the Year (19th century music)/Piano.

In recent years, Mr. Ax has turned his attention toward the music of 20th-century composers, premiering works by John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, and Melinda Wagner. Mr. Ax is also devoted to chamber music, and has worked regularly with such artists as Young Uck Kim, Cho-Liang Lin, Mr. Ma, Edgar Meyer, Peter Serkin, Jaime Laredo, and the late Isaac Stern.

Mr. Ax resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki. They have two children together, Joseph and Sarah. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia Universities.

Itzhak Perlman | Emanuel Ax

Faure & Strauss Violin Sonatas

Deutsche Grammophon

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1 Faure: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13 -
2 Faure: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13 - Andante
3 Faure: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13 - Allegro vivo
4 Faure: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13 - Allegro quasi presto
5 Strauss: Violin Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op. 18 - Allegro ma non troppo
6 Strauss: Violin Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op. 18 - Improvisation: Andante cantabile
7 Strauss: Violin Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op. 18 - Finale: Andante ,Allegro
Interview with WCLV: Cleveland - Angela Mitchell

Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman is known the world over as one of the most recognizable and beloved classical artists today.  The 16-time Grammy winning Perlman celebrates his 70th birthday on August 31; the milestone is marked with multiple releases paying tribute to his catalogue as well as Perlman's first new solo recording in 16 years.  Fauré & Strauss Violin Sonatas with pianist Emanuel Ax released on August 28 on Deutsche Grammophon/UMC, on the heels of the 25-CD box set Itzhak Perlman:  Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon, released May 26 on DG/UMC.

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