Born in Tel Aviv on August 31, 1945, in what was then still British-mandate Palestine, Itzhak Perlman showed an interest in music at an early age. Denied admission into Israel's Shulamit Conservatory at the age of three because he was too small to properly hold a violin, Perlman instead taught himself to play on a toy fiddle. Coming down with polio at the age of four, Perlman was left unable to walk without the use of leg braces and crutches, which he uses to this day. Finally admitted to both the coveted conservatory as well as the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, he gave his first recital at only 10 before moving to the United States to study at the Juilliard School of Music.
His prodigious talents became well-known to the world shortly thereafter, as Perlman began to appear on television — twice on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1958 and again in 1964, appearing on the same episode as The Rolling Stones. In 1963, he made his Carnegie Hall debut, beginning a career of touring shortly thereafter. Perlman also continued to appear on TV, making appearances on such programs as The Tonight Show, Sesame Street, and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
Perlman has mostly performed as a solo violinist, appearing with the New York Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and countless other symphonies. But he has also played with other musicians, including Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, and Yo-Yo Ma.
Today, we wish Itzhak Perlman a Happy 73rd Birthday, and know that you will enjoy his performance of Tchaikovsky's famed Violin Concerto as much as we do!