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Blog

A Birthday Celebration of Itzhak Perlman and Seiji Ozawa

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Itzhak Perlman, Seiji Ozawa

The classical music world is full of weird birthday confluences. J.S. Bach and Modest Mussorgsky share a birthday. Brahms and Verdi share a birthday week. And so do two modern superstars of the classical music world, conductor Seiji Ozawa and violinist Itzhak Perlman.

Rather than wax poetic about what makes these two so iconic, we thought we'd share with you some of our favorite moments from these two giants, who celebrate their birthdays on August 31 (Perlman) and September 1 (Ozawa).

Our first thought was that there must be a clip of Itzhak Perlman on Sesame Street. The internet did not disappoint.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3richcoCUI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16XQTpm_OIk

It's not just his rapport with children and puppets... Itzhak Perlman brings his signature warmth (and, yes, astounding technical skill) to this performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTE08SS8fNk

And for Seiji Ozawa - remember when the Red Sox played the Cardinals in the World Series a few years ago? Both cities' orchestras teamed up for this, featuring a cameo from Maestro Ozawa: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjVIj4_g8d4

Let's travel in the way-back machine, to a time when Seiji Ozawa was not yet a household name, and watch his delightful appearance on "What's My Line:"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8u6MoA7fv0

And even before that, he joined Leonard Bernstein for this Young People's Concert:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CGYWYp7T9w

On his 80th birthday, he conducted the Saito Kinen Orchestra in a concert featuring pianist Martha Argerich, and they surprised him at the end with a heartfelt wish: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EHeZfr23Ns

We'd like to echo that heartfelt wish to both of these icons. Happy birthday, Itzhak Perlman and Seiji Ozawa!