A visit from Itzhak Perlman is a rarity, and something to celebrate. The last time I remember seeing him here was in 2003, when he played a delicate Mozart concerto. Acknowledging the passionate applause at Kleinhans Music Hall, he played an encore, the theme from "Schindler's List." He was the soloist heard in the movie, and it was moving to hear him play the music in person.
Perlman's upcoming appearance with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is all about movies.
The violinist, now 71, will be playing "As Time Goes By" from "Casablanca" and the yearning melody from "Cinema Paradiso." He'll also play music from "Out of Africa" and the sorrowing music from "Schindler's List" he played here almost 15 years ago. One highlight is sure to be the soaring theme from the Errol Flynn classic "Robin Hood" by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Some more contemporary movie themes by John Williams, from "Sabrina" and "Far and Away," help round out the evening.
The evening offers a charming opportunity to glimpse the more laid-back side of an artist who has been accurately called a super-virtuoso. Furthermore, whichever violin Perlman plays, it's sure to be a winner. He owns three: a 1714 Stradivarius formerly owned by Yehudi Menuhin; a 1743 Guarneri del Gesu; and a 1740 Carlo Bergonzi violin formerly owned by Fritz Kreisler.
Perlman performs with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at Kleinhans Music Hall. The concert is all but sold out, but at last count some tickets were still available. BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta conducts the concert, which begins with instrumental music by John Williams and Leonard Bernstein. Tickets are $59-$149. Call 885-5000 or visit bpo.org.