Stories » Itzhak Perlman turns 70. Charting A Charismatic Career / NPR

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Itzhak Perlman turns 70. Charting A Charismatic Career / NPR

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When Itzhak Perlman was three years old, he asked his parents for a violin because he heard one on the radio. A year later he contracted polio, leaving his legs paralyzed but his determination undaunted. Americans first became aware of the young Tel Aviv native when he performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958 at age 13. His teacher at Juilliard, Dorothy DeLay, knew that Perlman stood out. He was "on a kind of creative high that has never let up," she said.

It wasn't long before Perlman's elegant, luminous tone and affable personality propelled him to the top. He's won 16 Grammys, three Emmys and the National Medal of Arts. Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman is known the world over as one of the most recognizable and beloved classical artists today. His first new solo recording in 16 years - Fauré & Strauss Violin Sonatas with pianist Emanuel Axwill was just released on Deutsche Grammophon/UMC, on the heels of the 25-CD box set Itzhak Perlman:  Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon, released May 26 on DG/UMC.

Today Perlman turns 70. To celebrate and NPR collected videos that trace the arc of a singular career. take a look