Saturday, October 2, 2010

Violinist Perlman to play in Seoul

Jewish violinist Itzhak Perlman, a consummate musician and teacher, will play in Seoul on Oct. 26. / Courtesy of HyundaiCard

Korean admirers of Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman will have a chance to hear him in Seoul on Oct. 26 at the Seoul Arts Center. It is the distinguished artist’s first visit to Korea in 19 years.

The recital is a part of the HyundaiCard Super Concert program, featuring the Mozart Sonata for violin and piano in F Major; Beethoven Sonata for violin and piano No. 9 in A Major; and shorter pieces by Brahms and Schumann.

Few would argue that the 65- year-old is the reigning violin virtuoso of our time. No other concert violinist has been as visible as he has been before the public through concerts, recordings, and TV and film appearances.

“Perlman seems to infuse everything he touches with the magic of his golden, fluid tone,” the Chicago Sun-Times wrote.

“Beyond the rapturous, seemingly effortless sound, the emotional arc of his playing is shaped to perfection.” Perlman is well known to Koreans as a Juilliard fellow of Chung Kyung-wha, a pioneering Korean violinist and one of the most talented classical musicians of her generation.

Perlman and Chung had both studied under legendary pedagogues Ivan Galamian and Dorothy Delay. They are also both winners of the Leventritt Violin Competition in the United States in the 1960s.

Similar to violin legends before him like the Russian Jascha Heifetz, Perlman is also a dedicated teacher, 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.

“I’m now doing three things: concerts, conducting, and teaching, and they each support each other,” Perlman said. “I learn to see things from different perspectives and listen with different ears.

The most important thing that you need to do is really listen.” Born in Tel Aviv, he moved to New York at an early age to develop his prodigious talent at the Juilliard School.

He once said, “Being a child prodigy is a curse because you’ve got all those terrible possibilities.” But his superstar status has endured for almost 40 years since his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963.

Perlman has performed with the most distinguished musicians and orchestras of our time. In particular, he has a longtime chamber music partnership with Argentine pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim, fellow Israeli violinist Pinchas Zukerman and Yo-Yo Ma.

His Sony cycle with Barenboim of Brahms and Mozart violin sonatas and a cycle of Beethoven sonatas with Russian pianist/conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy for Decca are legendary.

Perlman plays on the antique Soil Stradivarius violin of 1714, formerly owned by Yehudi Menuhin. He is also a conductor and currently serves as the principal guest conductor at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

In January 2009, Perlman took part in the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and other musicians.

President Reagan granted him a “Medal of Liberty” in 1986, and President Clinton awarded him the “National Medal of Arts” in December 2000. In December 2003, he was a Kennedy Center Honoree.

For more information on the recital, visit or call 02-580-1300.

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