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Nathan Milstein

Rethinking Itzhak Perlman on the eve of his 70th birthday

Rethinking Itzhak Perlman on the eve of his 70th birthday

Honey-toned. Velvety. A golden sound. These are just some of the terms that generations of music lovers have used to compliment the violin playing of Itzhak Perlman. For nearly five decades, the marquee virtuoso, one of concert music's most charming emissaries, has infused his playing with sweetness and ease that can smooth out the most unruly passages, infusing masterworks with rich life. So it's important as Perlman approaches his 70th birthday in August, especially as many of my younger, cultured colleagues outside music have copped to not knowing anything about him, to remind some readers that America once had household-name violinists. And that in his prime as a virtuoso...

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