Can Itzhak Perlman participate in competition?

July 7, 2019, 12:29 AM · haha weird question but Im wondering if Virtuosos like Perlman can participate in competitions

Replies (19)

July 7, 2019, 12:42 AM · I think they all have age limits. Even if he were much younger he wouldn't need to do it because he is a major league touring soloist.
July 7, 2019, 1:26 AM · Why would he? He would have nothing to gain and much to lose.
July 7, 2019, 9:04 AM · The more interesting question is would he win?
July 7, 2019, 9:13 AM · In his prime, yes. But now? Probably not... still a great violinist with great musicality!
July 7, 2019, 9:22 AM · There are (virtually) no comps for adults. Which is a drag for older amateurs. So the question is moot.

But in any case I think he already 'won' on any scale you choose to use!

Edited: July 7, 2019, 10:25 AM · For superstars, participating in a competition would be a loss of income. Why in the world would they forgo their usual compensation for these performances? No other category of professional would be willing to do it.
July 7, 2019, 12:16 PM · I doubt he would win, except maybe from notoriety points.
July 7, 2019, 2:27 PM · I think he is very, very happy that he does not have to compete anymore. Why destroy his well-desrverd calmer sailing through the violin world?
July 7, 2019, 3:13 PM · I doubt he can pass the first round, if he were to enter a major competition now.
July 7, 2019, 4:45 PM · That would mean he only cares about money, and I think he couldn't care less about money now. He must be so wealthy, so money is not a goal for him.

By the way, has Itzhak ever been a judge of a major competition?

What could anyone say about his playing?
His reply would be always "yeah, but I prefer to play it this way, what you said it's pretty much your opinion". I hardly believe anyone could point out something that he has not thought about before, and if he does not do it is because he decided to reject it.

July 7, 2019, 7:26 PM · "Why would he? He would have nothing to gain and much to lose."

But can he?

July 7, 2019, 7:35 PM · He did - the Leventritt in 1964.
July 7, 2019, 7:39 PM · " the Leventritt in 1964"

Sorry, a "competition" in which one man can make his student the "co-winner" of the real winner is not a real competition.

July 7, 2019, 7:43 PM · Leaving aside age: is the really that much difference between the skill sets for performing solo and playing in competitions?

I think the common wisdom that most orchestral musicians wouldn't win their own current jobs if they had to audition on short notice makes much more sense, because of the big difference between orchestral work and auditioning. But it seems to me that full-time solo performance is much closer to competition/audition playing.

Edited: July 7, 2019, 10:23 PM · Sorry but I can’t help imagining the question to be somehow similar to asking a retired Olympic champion to join the olympics again, or an old retired math professor to enter a uni student math competition.

We all know they’re not gonna make it to the top.

But for Perlman I am certain that if he competed when in the competitions’ age groups and in reasonable health conditions, he would win 1st place easily in any of these competitions.

July 8, 2019, 1:18 AM · I really don't get the sports analogy. The aim of entering a competition isn't to to have your photo taken on the podium with a gold medal round your neck and then become hideously rich. Nobody does it just for fun either. They do it because it's a distasteful but effective way of initiating a career in music. I'm the first in this thread to use the word so I'll say it again - MUSIC!
July 8, 2019, 10:11 AM · A few decades ago a new Choirmaster took over the post at Bristol Cathedral (England). His first act was re-audition every member of the choir. His second act was to get rid of those who didn't match up to his new exacting standards.

Many of those who thus departed were older choristers whose voices would have been starting to waver with age, so this may be understandable for a cathedral choir which aims at a professional standard beyond that of a typical community choir. You can imagine the furore, letters to the local newspaper, etc, and the new man probably wasn't the flavor of the month for a while!

July 8, 2019, 10:57 AM · Steve - thank you.

Competitions are a curse. Yes, a necessary curse but a curse nonetheless. For some it seems they demarcate the people worth listening to and those not. Relying on 'experts' is just SO much easier than using your own ears.

Edited: July 9, 2019, 8:44 AM · As others have pointed out, age requirement aside, there is no reason for Perlman to enter a competition, so I guess the OP's question is purely hypothetical.

We all know Perlman has retired from elite performance for quite some time. Though wishing him well, I doubt if presently he could hold a bow for a period of time without shaking his hand. A recent YouTube video seems to confirm it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWBOjDkbO6I

How could he then win a competition? His chance is just as good as the odds for a retired Olympic champion to win the Olympics again, hence my analogy. Both violin and sports, at elite levels, are fiercely competitive, and require committed training at a young age. It's also necessary to point out no analogy is perfect.


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