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Will the Next Itzhak Perlman Please Stand Up? / Forward

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On August 31, the superstar Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman turns 70, and amid the mazel tovs, music lovers might wonder who will take over his prominent role in musical life when he is ready to retire. Fiddling is a demanding profession, rarely pursued at its highest levels by septuagenarians. Even the Olympian Jascha Heifetz scaled down his performing schedule around that age. Aplomb has been a keyword of Perlman's achievement, since his appearances over a half-century ago on "The Ed Sullivan Show," and his 1972 recording of the Paganini "Caprices." His approach seemed to shrug off difficulties - and even some apparent impossibilities - with sangfroid. In his prime, the sweet tone of his renditions seemed to make light of the ferocious technical demands of the works he tackled. And sometimes he surprised in offering noble and forthright versions of unexpected repertory, such as an unusually rigorous and angular Bach "Double Concerto for Two Violins in D minor" with Isaac Stern and the New York Philharmonic led by Zubin Mehta.  READ THE FULL Forward ARTICLE