Itzhak Perlman and Emanuel Ax played 4 duo recitals on the Westcoast in January 2016
Itzhak Perlman’s celebratory 70th birthday tour this season sees him performing around the globe in two 11-city tours, a return tour to Europe, and collaborations with much-admired musical friends including piano giants Emanuel Ax and Evgeny Kissin. Perlman took Asia by storm in November in a sold-out 11-city tour of Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and Seoul, and this month he toured the Westcoast in his second 11-city tour of the season. The Westcoast tour included 4 duo recitals with his long-time friend Emanuel Ax and 3 conducting programs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and the Juilliard Orchestra in Chicago. All the concerts were sold out or near to capacity and the reviews and ovations were overwhelming.
Los Angeles Times:
“With Perlman, Tchaikovsky and Mozart on the bill, that’s about as sure a crowd-pleasing combination as you can get — and the ovations were thunderous. The violinist-turned-conductor does have a grand, coherent conception of what he wants, and the orchestra played luxuriously well for him. It is terribly difficult to make the Tchaikovsky 5 sound fresh again. L.A. Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel is one of the few who can pull off that feat these days, and this wasn’t one of those occasions.”
“The Juilliard Orchestra can sound like a top international ensemble when the conditions are favorable, and … the conditions were right for the Perlman-led performances. Their playing exuded palpable enthusiasm, alert technical discipline and a pleasing tonal finish, wreathed in smiles. In fact, the earnest amiability Perlman’s conducting displayed on the surface was belied by the energy and concentration he was able to elicit from his eager young charges in those standard Tchaikovsky warhorses, the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Overture-Fantasy and the Symphony No. 6.”
San Francisco Examiner:
“Last night in Davies Symphony Hall, violinist Itzhak Perlman and pianist Emanuel Ax returned to the stage where, earlier this month, each had performed as soloist (and, in Perlman’s case, conductor) with the San Francisco Symphony for an evening of chamber music. The results could not have been more delightful. From the very first bars of the opening selection by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the K. 296 sonata in C major, it was clear that this would be an evening of fresh insights, rather than reflections on past traditions. Perlman the violinist, with Ax as his partner, not only ‘got’ the many nuances and humorous turns in Mozart’s sonata but also relished them with overt enthusiasm in his rhetorical delivery. The real joy in this music was for the players, but both Perlman and Ax knew how to share that joy with the audience.”