Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman performed with the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra at a sold-out concert on Saturday, March 29. Nearly 1,300 people packed Dodd Auditorium for the concert, which was part of the Philharmonic’s annual William M. Anderson Celebrity Series.
The UMW Philharmonic, conducted by Kevin Bartram, is comprised of both UMW students and community musicians. Since 2004, the orchestra has performed with famous artists such as Marvin Hamlisch, Judy Collins, Kenny Rogers, flutist Sir James Galway and the Canadian Brass.
“The audience was astonished at the sound he got from [his 1714 Stradivarius],” said Kevin Bartram, maestro of the UMW Philharmonic. “Even professional violinists are stunned by his capacity to achieve such a sound. The experience of performing such a demanding work with a living legend will live with us the rest of our lives.”
Perlman, a violin virtuoso, enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. He is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond to his artistry and his irrepressible joy for making music.
Perlman performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Philharmonic. Perlman has performed the work hundreds of times, but admits, “I could play that forever and never get tired of it. It’s an amazing piece,” he said.
Perlman has been honored with four Emmy Awards, most recently for the PBS documentary, “Fiddling for the Future,” a film about Perlman’s work as a teacher and conductor for the Perlman Music Program. During the 78th Annual Academy Awards in 2006, he performed a live medley from the five film scores nominated in the category of Best Original Score for a worldwide audience. Perlman also collaborated with film composer John Williams in Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning film “Schindler’s List” in which he performed the violin solos.
In 2008, Itzhak Perlman was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in the recording arts. His recordings regularly appear on the best-seller charts and have earned him 15 Grammy Awards. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan honored Perlman with a Medal of Liberty and in 2000 President Bill Clinton awarded Perlman the National Medal of Arts.
The UMW Philharmonic achieved national acclaim in 2009 with the American Prize, an award given to the top nine collegiate orchestras in the nation. In 2012, the group was featured on a national PBS fundraising show, “A Fiddler’s Holiday.”
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