ITZHAK PERLMAN (Violin and Host)
Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry but also to his irrepressible joy of music-making and communicating with audiences.
Born in Israel in 1945, Perlman completed his initial training at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. An early recipient of an America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship, he was propelled to national recognition on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. The 60th anniversary of this milestone was celebrated with a return to the Ed Sullivan Theater on November 2, 2018, in a special guest appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Following Perlman’s studies at The Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay, he won the Leventritt Competition in 1964, which led to a burgeoning worldwide career and performances with every major orchestra and at concert halls around the globe.
Perlman has been honored with 16 Grammy Awards®, four Emmy Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a Genesis Prize, a National Medal of Arts by President Clinton, a Medal of Liberty by President Reagan, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama which is the Nation’s highest civilian honor.
ROHAN DE SILVA (Piano)
Rohan De Silva’s partnerships with violin virtuosos Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Cho-Liang Lin, Midori, Joshua Bell, Benny Kim, Kyoko Takezawa, Vadim Repin, Gil Shaham, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and James Ehnes have led to highly acclaimed performances at recital venues all over the world.
He has performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center, Los Angeles’ Disney Concert Hall, Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre in London, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Philharmonie de Paris, Munich Gasteig, Mozarteum Salzburg, La Scala in Milan and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
Alongside Perlman, De Silva has appeared worldwide in recital and performed multiple times at the White House, most recently in 2012 at the invitation of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama for Israeli President and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Shimon Peres and at a State Dinner in 2007, hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush for Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. A native of Sri Lanka, De Silva was invited in 2015 by the Prime Minister of his country to perform at a luncheon for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on his historic visit to Sri Lanka.
De Silva began his piano studies with his mother, the late Primrose De Silva, and with the late Mary Billimoria. He spent six years at the Royal Academy of Music in London as a student of Hamish Milne, Sydney Griller and Wilfred Parry. He received both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at The Juilliard School, studying piano with Martin Canin, chamber music with Felix Galimir and working closely with violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay. He was awarded a special prize as Best Accompanist at the 1990 Ninth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and received the Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award, presented to him by Itzhak Perlman at the 2005 Classical Recording Foundation Awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall. De Silva has recordings available on Deutsche Grammophon, Universal, CBS/SONY Classical, Collins Classics, Chandos and RCA Victor.
ELLIOTT FORREST (Producer, Projection Designer)
Elliott Forrest is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster, director, and producer. Producer and projection designer for An Evening with Itzhak Perlman.
He is the afternoon host on New York City’s Classical Radio Station 105.9FM, WQXR, host of the radio concerts of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and has hosted more the 60 concerts on stage at Carnegie Hall.
Forrest is director and projection designer of the PBS TV Special: Considering Matthew Shepard and co-director and projection designer of the live tour. He regularly produces, directs, and designs symphony concerts around the country: Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Pasadena Pops, and the Little Orchestra Society in venues including the Hollywood Bowl and Lincoln Center.
He is the Founding Executive Artistic Director of ArtsRock.org of Rockland County, NY. His orchestra narration includes Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals, Peter and the Wolf, Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale, and Britten’s Young Person’s Guide. For 12 years he was on A&E Television as host of Breakfast with the Arts. He appeared on the original Gong Show on NBC. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in theater from the University of Texas, Austin.