November 16, 2015
President Obama Names Itzhak Perlman as Recipient of Medal of Freedom
Perlman to be Honored by President Obama with Nation’s Highest Civilian Honor
Today President Barack Obama named 17 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including Itzhak Perlman.
Regarded as the United States’ highest civilian honor, the accolade is presented to individuals who have made meritorious contributions to security, world peace, cultural pursuits and other significant public and private endeavors. The awards will be presented at the White House on November 24th.
President Obama said, “I look forward to presenting these 17 distinguished Americans with our nation’s highest civilian honor. From public servants who helped us meet defining challenges of our time to artists who expanded our imaginations, from leaders who have made our union more perfect to athletes who have inspired millions of fans, these men and women have enriched our lives and helped define our shared experience as Americans.”
Alongside Mr. Perlman, other 2015 recipients include: Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress, singer/songwriter Gloria Estefan, baseball legend Willie Mays, composer Stephen Sondheim, director Stephen Spielberg and singers Barbra Streisand and James Taylor.
Itzhak Perlman is a treasured violinist, conductor and sought-after teacher. Among his many achievements are four Emmy Awards, 16 Grammy Awards, and the 2008 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He was awarded a National Medal of Arts in 2000 and a Kennedy Center Honor in 2003. A native of Israel, he came to the United States at a young age and was introduced to Americans broadly when he appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. Mr. Perlman made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963 when he was 18. In addition to performing internationally and recording the classical music for which he is best known, Perlman has also played jazz, including an album made with jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. Perlman has been the soloist for a number of film scores such as Schindler’s List, which subsequently won an Academy Award for Best Original Score. Alongside his wife Toby, Mr. Perlman teaches talented young musicians through the Perlman Music Program. Through his advocacy and his example, he has been an important voice on behalf of persons with disabilities.
For a full list of recipients and more information, read the press release here: www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/16/president-obama-names-recipients-presidential-medal-freedom.