WPAS: Itzhak Perlman, violin and Rohan DeSilva, piano
Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 4:00 PM
Music Center at Strathmore
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 that he communicates. In 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. He recently performed at the State Dinner for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, 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 studies at The Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay, Mr. Perlman won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964, which led to a worldwide career. Since then, he has appeared with every major orchestra and in recitals and festivals around the world.
Highlights of his 2007-2008 season include summer performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center and Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood; recitals throughout Europe and the United States including London, Paris, Brussels, Zurich, Boston, and Los Angeles, and a tour of Japan where he will be heard both in recital and with orchestra. Mr. Perlman also appears with students from the Perlman Music Program in a three-concert series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
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. In 2004, PBS aired a special entitled Perlman in Shanghai which chronicled a historic visit of the Perlman Music Program to China, featuring a concert at the Shanghai Grand Theater and a performance with 1,000 young violinists, led by Mr. Perlman and broadcast throughout China.
Itzhak Perlman’s recordings regularly appear on the best-seller charts and have garnered 15 Grammy Awards. His latest Grammy was awarded for The American Album, with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 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.
Rohan De Silva’s partnerships with violin virtuosos Itzhak Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, Midori, Joshua Bell, Benny Kim, Kyoko Takezawa, Vadim Repin, Gil Shaham, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Julian Rachlin have led to highly acclaimed performances at recital venues all over the world. With these and other artists, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and La Scala in Milan and Tel-Aviv, Israel. His festival appearances include the Aspen, Interlochen, Manchester, Ravinia and Schleswig-Holstein festivals; the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and the Wellington Arts Festival in New Zealand. He performs frequently with Itzhak Perlman and was seen with Mr. Perlman on PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center broadcast in 2000. Mr. De Silva regularly tours Japan with Mr. Perlman, and in 2002, they toured East Asia. In 2006, he toured with Mr. Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman, including stops in Chicago, Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.
In the 2007-2008 season, Mr. De Silva appears in recital with Mr. Perlman across the United States. Since 2000, Rohan De Silva has been a faculty member at the Perlman Music Program on Long Island. Mr. De Silva and Mr. Perlman recently performed at the State Dinner for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush at the White House.
Mr. De Silva, a native of Sri Lanka, began his piano studies with his mother, the late Primrose De Silva, and with the late Mary Billimoria. He spent six years at the Royal Academy of Music in London as a student of Hamish Milne, Sydney Griller, and Wilfred Parry. While in London, he received many awards including the Chappell Gold Medal for best overall performance at the Royal Academy awarded upon his graduation. Mr. De Silva was the first recipient of a special scholarship in the arts from the President’s Fund of Sri Lanka. This enabled him to enter The Juilliard School, where he received both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees, studying piano with Martin Canin, chamber music with Felix Galimir, and working closely with violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay. He was awarded a special prize as best accompanist at the 1990 Ninth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He received the Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award presented to him by Itzhak Perlman at the 2005 Classical Recording Foundation Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall.