Itzhak Perlman

Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall, Feb. 11

Rolling onstage via an electric scooter that he remained seated upon throughout the evening, Israeli-born superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman performed a superb, Prokofiev-heavy, program to a sold-out and very appreciative audience. Indeed, the 66-year-old, who made his U.S. television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show when he was just 13, received a standing ovation before playing a single note. When he did finally bow his Stradivarius, he launched into the andante and allegro of Franz Schubert’s earnest, carefully wrought opus for violin and piano, “Rondo Brilliant.” The pianist, Sri Lankan native Rohan De Silva, provided perfect accompaniment, especially on Brahms’ “Hungarian Dances,” during which he and Perlman traded pyrotechnical melodic bursts, much like dueling rock guitarists. After an intermission, the two laid into a big chunk of Prokofiev’s “Violin Sonata No. 2,” an elegant yet virtuosic piece that drew audible gasps from blue-hairs in the orchestra section. Admittedly, I caught my breath, too. ★★★★★

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Golden Gates and Moscow Nights


Golden Gates and Moscow Nights

By Jarret Keene

The forces of traditional Russian folk music and dance launched a brilliant offensive in Las Vegas the first weekend of February. Led by joke-strafing accordionist Vitaliy Bezrodnov and reinforced by balalaika-strummer Sergei Pudov, Golden Gates and Moscow Nights provided an audience of at least 100 with an afternoon of eclectic visual and melodic delights.