Itzhak

His parents were emigrants to Israel. He was a polio survivor who became the rock star of classical music. Itzhak Perlman went from tackling the third movement from Mendelsohhn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Opus 64 on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1958 to accompanying Billy Joel in Madison Square Garden, and in between he received the 2015 Medal of Freedom and fielded questions from students around the world. Director Alison Chernick’s film takes what could’ve been a stoic biographical subject and lets Perlman, a 16-time Grammy winner, laugh and joke and retell his own story with an exuberant, pithy, almost “Life of Riley” verve. Along with his wife of 50 years, Toby, theirs is a world punctuated by a passion and joy for music – or as it’s described, “his mind is a violin.” I’ve now seen documentaries on Glenn Gould, Van Cliburn, and numerous other classical figures but Perlman is the one who feels like someone I’d like to know.

[NR]