Quotes by Itzhak Perlman

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I am playing the violin, that's all I know, nothing else, no education, no nothing. You just practice every day. more...

The most important thing to do is really listen. more...

This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in five or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development. more...

Trust your ability! more...

A sponge has that much absorbent capability and after a while you can pour water over it and nothing stays. more...

Child prodigy is a curse because you've got all those terrible possibilities. more...

For every child prodigy that you know about, at least 50 potential ones have burned out before you even heard about them. more...

When you play a concerto with a small orchestra, you don't feel it is as important as Carnegie Hall. You try to work out all the little problems. Once that's all done, trust comes in. more...

Sometimes you get from the mouth of kids wonderful things. more...

That's the goal, to survive your gift. more...

There are people who are uncanny, who are finished products at a young age. I wasn't, thank God. more...

Another thing that I don't like to do is show too much how it goes. I do it once in a blue moon. Sometimes there are lessons when I don't pick up a violin at all. more...

For people who are really talented, what you don't say becomes extremely important. You have to judge what to say and what to leave alone so you can let the talent develop. more...

In Paris they have special wheelchairs that go through every doorway. They don't change the doorways, they change the wheelchairs. To hell with the people! If someone weighs a couple more pounds, that's it! more...

One of the most important elements in teaching, conducting, and performing, all three, is listening. more...

Any gifted child can potentially get in real trouble because of the way they are handled. more...

That makes classical music work, the ability to improvise. more...

Competition can be the most nerve-racking experience. Some people just thrive on it. more...

Preparing for a future in music is an expensive proposition. more...

I don't feel that the conductor has real power. The orchestra has the power, and every member of it knows instantaneously if you're just beating time. more...

I look at raising funds for The Perlman Music Program as a challenge and as a way to provide opportunities for people who care about the future of classical music. more...

I'm now doing three things: concerts, conducting, and teaching, and they each support each other. I learn to see things from different perspectives and listen with different ears. The most important thing that you need to do is really listen. more...

So many things can drive you mad as a child, not only music. more...

I feel that you always pay when you are a child. more...

I listen to kids play a lot. more...

I couldn't only do one thing-I don't want the personal hell of oneness. more...

Ask many of us who are disabled what we would like in life and you would be surprised how few would say, 'Not to be disabled.' We accept our limitations. more...

The Violin of my dreams. If you wanna play a pianissimo that is almost inaudible and yet it carries through a hall that seats 3,000 people, there's your Strad. more...

I can actually see the sound in my head. I can actually see it... But each sound is different so this one has that sparkle, there is a sparkle to the sound. more...

There is nothing like a fine Italian sound. more...

I always say separate your abilities from your disabilities. You know, if I could play the violin, I don't have to play it standing up. I can play it sitting down and so on. more...

I always consider myself lucky that I can actually cry listening to some music. more...

One of the great challenges is to know when things are not right. more...

The thing is that what you try to do when you play is you try to play not below a certain level. In other words, it can be a special day where it would be phenomenal, but if it's not below a certain level, that's the goal. You know, that's what you want to do. That's why you practice and so on. more...

Don't play the way it goes. Play the way it is. And the way it is every time you play it, it's slightly different. Look for something. So that's the challenge not to be bored. more...

Same thing with harmonies. If you hear something that harmonically is interesting, express it. So that's what I'm saying about talking the music rather than just playing through. more...

Another thing that you really do when you play, that you're supposed to do, is colors. You know, you cannot play with one color. If you play with one color, again, it's like watching a beautiful painting, a drawing, but it's all in blue or it's all in red. May be very nice, but not very interesting. more...

Nothing is better for my playing than teaching because when you teach, you have to think and you have to listen what other people do. And then all of a sudden, you play yourself and then you say, my goodness, I don't need a teacher. I'm my own teacher. Then I can react to what I'm doing immediately. It really improves. more...

I do three things. I do teaching, I do conducting and I do playing. And each one of those sort of helps the other. more...

Every musical phrase has a purpose. It's like talking. If you talk with a particular purpose, people listen to you, but if you just recite, it's not as meaningful. more...

... Beethoven concertos ... Tchaicovsky concertos ... with a lot of these wonderful masterpieces there's always something wonderful to find ... there's always something new to find ... more...

... everybody has a different kind of talent and a different timetable as to when they develop .. more...

This machine, the wheelchair, I can go all over the place, but you need a place without stairs to get in. more...

Sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left. more...

One must always practice slowly. If you learn something slowly, you forget it slowly. more...

Perhaps our task in this shaky, fast-changing, bewildering world in which we live is to make music, at first with all that we have, and then, when that is no longer possible, to make music with what we have left. more...

Never miss an opportunity to teach; when you teach others, you teach yourself. more...

I love to work with young kids. more...

You get more nervous in front of a lot of people. That's why, when you play a concerto, you play with a small orchestra, in some place where you don't feel that it is as important as Carnegie Hall. more...

I'm just a one-instrument player. I have been known to play a blender, but I basically play - just play the violin. more...

If you play something well, I don't care what it is. I mean, I don't play an electric [violin] - I tried. It's actually interesting. more...

A Century of Wisdom is universal and will enrich readers for generations to come. more...

In difficult times, people just like to hear music. They like to be moved by what they hear. And music speaks different languages. more...

Not many people like it when they get criticism. Of course, if you have someone who does tell you and you do have a rapport, that's great. But don't rely on it. You have to rely on yourself. more...

I don't walk on stage unless I'm playing with a orchestra. But when I play a recital, I'm sort of on a scooter, and I just scoot very quickly on stage, and they're saying, wow, look at this. He's so fast. more...

I can't walk very well, but I'm not onstage to do walking. I'm on the stage to play. more...

A lot of people like to think that polio was a inspiration in what I do. I think that music has to do with what kind of passion do you have. more...

You decide to be a musician, you have to put in the time. more...

..I heard Ori Kam and was deeply impressed with his achievements as a violist. His technical and interpretive skills are truly unique. I see a great future for him. more...

Believe me, I've had interviews where the person says, "So when did you start and why? What about your parents?" I say to them, "Please, have you heard of the word Google?" more...

When you talk about a million bucks, if you think about it very carefully, it's not that much money, if you start to divide it. You have to figure out a philosophy as to whom you want to give it to. more...

A lot of society tries to put people with disabilities into one cube, and when you think about it, many, many people have different types of disabilities, and you cannot put a code that applies towards everyone - generally, they can be guidelines, but in the long run, interior designers and architects need more education on the subject. That's what's missing. more...

Just imagine yourself in a wheelchair. Go through the building. If there's a place you can't go in, it's not accessible. more...

I find personally that when I go to a place where I can't get in, I feel hostility from whatever it is, a hotel, a shop, a market, a street corner where there are no curb cuts, because somebody forgot to put them in, and where I have to go two blocks to the corner to do it. A lot of the excuses are, "Well, this is an old building." That's my favorite one. "This is an old building." It's as though 50 years ago, people with disabilities did not exist. As if the disabled are a new problem. It has always been a problem. more...

I don't know if it's ever happened to you, but it's one of my funniest and saddest experiences, when you go into a hotel, and they have an accessible walk-in shower. So you go in and open the curtain, and there is a bench off to the side of the shower. However, the shower is rectangular. On one side there's a bench, but the faucets are across from you. So if you sit on the bench, you cannot reach the faucets. more...

Life is not as easy as it could be for a person with a disability. more...

Every person with a disability has a slightly different kind of disability. Not everybody has the same problems. Usually the wheelchairs are the wheelchairs. It's the same height and so on. It's a problem. more...


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