Itzhak Perlman


Itzhak Perlman is the most recognizable violinist in the world not simply because he’s among the best but also because he’s expanded his territory. He has appeared on Sesame Street and Late Show with David Letterman and played on the Schindler’s List and Music of the Heart film soundtracks. Since his first performance on Ed Sullivan’s show, in 1958, Perlman has spent his career as an ambassador on behalf of both classical music and those living with disabilities. (When he was four, polio cost him the ability to stand without the use of leg braces.) It is this history of bridging cultural and social divides that makes Perlman an extraordinarily appropriate representative for the first Daniel Pearl Music Day in Kansas City. Slain journalist Pearl was also an accomplished violinist, fiddler and mandolin player, and in honor of what would have been his 39th birthday, musicians around the world — from London to Bangkok to Mumbai to Beijing — will be holding events. The Daniel Pearl Foundation, organized by friends and family, asks that no money be raised on its behalf that day. Instead, the group hopes to use the day “to inspire mutual understanding and tolerance throughout the world.” For more information about the Daniel Pearl Foundation, visit

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