Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman will open the 8th Annual Festival of the Arts Boca on Thursday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mizner Park Amphitheater, accompanied by Festival Orchestra Boca under the direction of Festival Music Director Constantine Kitsopoulos. Perlman will return to the Festival stage on Sunday, March 9 at 7 p.m. for the Florida premiere of his new program of traditional Jewish and Klezmer music with celebrated Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, Eternal Echoes: Songs and Dances for the Soul.
“To see Itzhak Perlman live is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Charlie Siemon, chair and co-executive producer of the Festival of the Arts Boca. “This will be Mr. Perlman’s third return to our Festival where he will perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and also present ‘Eternal Echoes,’ a musical and cultural treat for everyone.”
Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, 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 his irrepressible joy for making music.
Born in Israel in 1945, Perlman was propelled into national recognition with an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. He won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964, which led to a burgeoning worldwide career. Since then, Perlman has appeared as violin soloist with every major orchestra and in recitals and festivals around the world.
In 2003, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts granted Perlman a Kennedy Center Honor celebrating his distinguished achievements and contributions to the cultural and educational life of the United States. He has performed multiple times at the White House, most recently in 2012 for Israeli President and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Shimon Peres; and at a State Dinner in 2007 for Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Perlman was honored to take part in the Inauguration of President Obama in 2009, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams alongside cellist Yo-Yo Ma, clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Gabriela Montero.
He proudly possesses four Emmy Awards and fifteen Grammy awards. He performed at the 2006 Academy Awards and at the Juilliard School Centennial gala, broadcast nationally on Live from Lincoln Center. One of 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.
Perlman devotes considerable time to education, both in his participation each summer in the Perlman Music Program and his teaching at the Juilliard School, where he holds the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Chair. He was awarded an honorary doctorate and a centennial medal on the occasion of Julliard’s 100th commencement ceremony in 2005.
On Sunday, March 9 at 7 p.m., Perlman will return to the Festival stage with the Florida premiere of Eternal Echoes with superstar Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, featuring beloved liturgical and traditional works in new arrangements, backed by klezmer musicans and a chamber orchestra.