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Violinist Itzhak Perlman to wow NJPAC October 8

Ithak Perlman performs at NJPAC on Sunday, October 8
Lisa Marie Mazzucco
Ithak Perlman performs at NJPAC on Sunday, October 8

16-time Grammy Award-winning violinist, composer and educator Itzhak Perlman is excited about his upcoming performance at NJPAC.

Perlman recently spoke with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle about his October 8th "An Afternoon with Itzhak Perlman" concert which intertwines narrative, multi-media elements and music.

"I always like to play there. The Hall (NJPAC's Victoria Theater) is beautiful. This particular program is a lot of fun for me. Usually it's a lot of fun for the audience because it involves more than just playing. There's reminiscing, talking about and looking at personal photographs and some videos. It's a kind of a nice show that I enjoy doing. For me, anything I go on the stage for, whether it's a concert or a regular recital, I feel like if I enjoy it then hopefully it carries over to the audience. Everybody just has a terrific time and so do I."

Violinist Itzhak Perlman chats with WBGO's Doug Doyle
Doug Doyle/Zoom
Violinist Itzhak Perlman chats with WBGO's Doug Doyle

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. Having performed with every major orchestra and at concert halls around the globe, Mr. Perlman has also been honored with four Emmy Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Genesis Prize.

Perlman began playing the violin in Israel at the age of our. When he was 13, he wowed the television audience of the very popular "Ed Sullivan Show" in the late 1950's.

"Everybody always told me that I have a good tone, that my tone was special. I had to practice obviously but it many ways it came easy to me."

Itzhak Perlman in performance
BYU Arts
Itzhak Perlman in performance

The violinist says his most requested piece is the emotional theme from Steven Spielberg's epic Holocaust movie Schindler's List.

"It's the most amazing piece because it's the only one people always ask me to play. No matter where I play it, whether I play it in the States, whether I play it in Europe, whether I play it in the Far East, it always gives people hope."

Hope for an audience that knows anti-semitism is still a major concern worldwide. Perlman says he feels we need to keep talking about.

"You have to always remember. Remembering is very, very important. Unfortunately, what's been happening these days helps us to remember and that's very upsetting. One has to always pay attention to what's going on. I'm just hoping that things will get better. I'm a great optimist but look the world is a little crazy these days. What's been going on is just insane. So I think we are lucky to have music. For me, to go to a concert and to listen to an opera or a recital or an orchestral concert, it kind of cleanses the soul."

Itzhak Perlman says he still enjoys performing
Lisa Marie Mazzuco
Itzhak Perlman says he still enjoys performing

Perlman has performed worldwide and throughout the United States, in venues that have included a State Dinner at the White House honoring Queen Elizabeth II, and at President Barack Obama's inauguration. He has conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Westchester Philharmonic. In 2015, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

You can SEE the entire interview with Itzhak Perlman here.

Doug Doyle has been News Director at WBGO since 1998 and has taken his department to new heights in coverage and recognition. Doug and his staff have received more than 250 awards from organizations like PRNDI (now PMJA), AP, New York Association of Black Journalists, Garden State Association of Black Journalists and the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.