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Master violinist Itzhak Perlman is back in Utah — this time on a performing spree

As of now, Perlman’s website only lists 5 performances for the remainder of the year — and 3 of them are in Utah

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Itzhak Perlman is returning to Utah to perform at BYU and with the Utah Symphony.

Itzhak Perlman performs during A Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch, a memorial concert, at The Juilliard School’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012 in New York. Perlman will perform at BYU on Oct. 11 and 12, and with the Utah Symphony on Oct. 14.

Jason Decrow/Invision/Associated Press

Three years after making his Brigham Young University debut, legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman is returning to the school for a second — and third — performance.

Perlman will appear for a rare two-night engagement at BYU on Oct. 11 and 12, featuring a performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the BYU Philharmonic. The 16-time Grammy Award-winner will then travel north to Salt Lake City to perform music composed or arranged by John Williams with the Utah Symphony on Oct. 14.

For more than a decade, Perlman has dedicated much of his career to music education, making his concert performances more selective. As of now, his website only lists five performances for the remainder of the year — and three of them are in Utah.

Here’s a look at Perlman’s history in Utah — and what to expect from his upcoming performances.


Itzhak Perlman’s history in Utah

Perlman’s first BYU appearance — which came two months before the pandemic — was one of the fastest-selling concerts in the school’s history, the Deseret News previously reported.

“It’s inspiring to think of all these people who are coming, and more who wanted to come — many, many more who wanted to come,” Kory Katseanes, conductor of the BYU Philharmonic, said at the time. “To me that says a lot about the health of the arts in Utah and the love of great classical music in Utah. This is a community that knows.” 

Perlman performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto, one of his signature pieces, for his BYU debut. The performance led to a standing ovation that lasted for 3 minutes and 40 seconds.

It was his first time at BYU, but the Israeli American violinist is no stranger to Utah. He performed in the Salt Lake Tabernacle as a guest artist with the Utah Symphony in 1976 and 1978, according to information provided by the Utah Symphony. Katseanes was a violinist in the symphony at the time and still vividly remembers how “open and gregarious” Perlman was toward the musicians. 

The violin virtuoso performed three times at Abravanel Hall throughout the 1980s and ’90s, and returned to the concert hall during the 2002 Winter Olympics. 

But as Perlman has put more emphasis on music education, his performances are “getting to be rarer and rarer for audiences these days,” Katseanes previously told the Deseret News.

“There’s only a few artists like this in a lifetime that come along that are this great,” he said. “You can play really well and you’d never sound like Perlman. Frankly, it’s a gift from God.” 


Upcoming Itzhak Perlman performances in Utah

Perlman will perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto at BYU. It’s a piece that has long been a part of his repertoire — the 78-year-old violinist played it at the age of 13 on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1958.

For his appearance with the Utah Symphony, Perlman will perform music from a wide range of films, including “Schindler’s List,” “Far and Away” and “Sabrina.” Perlman is featured on the soundtrack for the film “Schindler’s List.”