Itzhak Perlman, the famed Israeli-American violinist, is coming to Worcester March 26-27, appearing in two events presented by the performing arts organization Music Worcester.
The first event, on March 26, is “An Evening With Itzhak Perlman,” in which the violinist will both perform and tell stories from his decades-long career. The second event, on March 27, will feature a recital of major violin compositions by Franck, Handel, Bruch, and Mozart.
“It’s highly personal,” Adrien Finlay, executive director of Music Worcester, said of the program. “He is performing with his piano partner Rohan De Silva on both performances, so there is a piano onstage, and there will be plenty of music in the Saturday presentation, but we’re going to hear his story, in his own words.”
Born in Tel Aviv in 1945, Perlman came to the United States as a child. A survivor of polio, he gained national recognition with an appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1958, studied at the Juilliard School in New York City, and won the esteemed Leventritt Competition in 1964, according to his website. He has received 16 Grammy Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, and in 2015 a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.
“We wanted to celebrate his return, finally, to Worcester,” said Finlay, adding that “we wanted to indeed make the most of his time.”
Finlay noted that Perlman first appeared at Music Worcester in 1969 and that he has returned several times since.
He said of Perlman’s sound: “I would call it incredibly warm, round, perhaps romantic. You’re going to have that single violin string reverberate throughout the 1,200-seat Mechanics Hall, and you’re going to be able to hear a pin drop.”
Finlay also said he appreciates Perlman’s educational efforts, citing the Perlman Music Program and the musician’s appearances on “Sesame Street” over the years. “His work has gone so far beyond the concert stage,” he said.
Finlay noted that Music Worcester, which dates back to 1858, is preparing for its second season of summer concerts, which will include performances by singer and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens and the Silk Road Ensemble, among others.
Sam Trottenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.