Itzhak Perlman Drew His Bow And...Zing! Went the String of His Violin

UPDATED 05/26/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/26/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT

I plucked—and boom," explains Itzhak Perlman. The celebrated Israeli violinist was just beginning an arrangement of Manuel de Falla's La Vida Breve, his first encore during an SRO recital at Carnegie Hall, when the E string on his $400,000 Stradivarius suddenly snapped. The audience gasped. Perlman, 34, who breaks two or three strings a year (but, horrors, not in Carnegie Hall), retreated to the wings. Then, fearing the crowd might think he was through for the night, Perlman returned stage center with a string he had fished out of his violin case and replaced it while chatting with the intrigued audience. "A little bit of informality is nice," Perlman observed later. "It cuts down on the artificial barrier between the stage and the audience." Had the accident occurred later in the encore, Perlman said, he could have finished with only three strings. But once the instrument was restrung, he played another 15 minutes—proving that the best musicians can always string along an audience.

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Lupita Nyong'o: Most Beautiful!
  • Lupita Nyong'o: Most Beautiful!
  • Chelsea Clinton is Pregnant!
  • Exclusive Royal Tour Diary

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters