Posted : 2013-06-25 16:08
Updated : 2013-06-25 16:08

A touch of greatness

Violinist Itzhak Perlman will give a recital at Seoul Arts Center on Oct. 14. He will bring with him a program of works by Beethoven, Grieg and Tartini, in addition to a series of works to be announced on stage. / Courtesy of Credia

Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman to give rare recital in Seoul

By Do Je-hae

Itzhak Perlman, undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, will visit Korea in October for a recital that includes sonatas by Beethoven and Grieg. Additional works will be announced from the stage.

The Israeli-American violinist gave his first performance in Seoul in 19 years in 2010. Perlman was moved by the passionate response of Korean fans and has decided to perform here again, according to a Credia press release. Perlman has rarely given recitals in the last few years, due to teaching and other engagements.

It will be interesting to hear how he plays the Grieg sonata in C minor, as he has never recorded the piece. He will also play Tartini's "Devil's Trill," which combines gorgeous melodies and a fiendishly difficult trill passages.

Since his 1963 Carnegie Hall debut, Perlman has enjoyed superstar status.

Similar to violin legends before him such as 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."

Born in Tel Aviv, he moved to New York at an early age to develop his prodigious talent at the Juilliard School.

The 67-year-old serves on the faculty at Juilliard School. He and Korean violinist Chung Kyung-wha studied under the same teacher at Juilliard, the renowned pedagogue Ivan Galamian.

Both violinists are winners of the Leventritt Violin Competition in the United States in the 1960s and their careers were launched with the prize.

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

As a recording artist, Perlman is particularly known for 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. His Mozart concerto cycle for Deutsche Grammophon with the Vienna Philharmonic under James Levine is one of Perlman's trademark recordings.

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.

Since 1995, he has been leading the Perlman Music Program, a summer camp for exceptional string musicians between the ages of 11 and 18 that gives students the chance to be coached by Perlman himself.

In January 2009, Perlman took part in the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams. President Reagan granted him a "Medal of Liberty" in 1986, and President Clinton awarded him the "National Medal of Arts" in December 2000.

Perlman's recital will take place on Oct. 14 at Seoul Arts Center. The accompanist is Rohan de Silva, a Sri Lankan pianist and a Juilliard alumnus who has played with some of the most renowned violinists on the stage today, including Vadim Repin, Midori, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham and Cho Liang-Lin.

Tickets range from 60,000 to 180,000 won. For more information, visit

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