The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
University of Kentucky violinist Megan Lineberry was chatting with a friend online Wednesday night when she signed off saying, “I’ve got to get some rest. I have a concert with Itzhak Perlman Sunday night.”
“Not many university orchestra musicians get to say that,” Lineberry said.
The 23-year-old graduate student also had gotten to say she’s had to rest up for concerts with Gil Shaham, Sarah Chang, Marvin Hamlisch and numerous other marquee stars of classical and contemporary music who have performed with the UK Symphony Orchestra.
Sunday’s performance by Perlman will be his second appearance in as many years with the UK Symphony. This one is a collaboration in part with the Henry Clay Foundation, which will award the violin legend its Henry Clay Medallion while he is here. Recipients of the medallion, awarded to those who exemplify Clay’s ideals of “statesmanship, compromise and peaceful resolution,” have included Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, media mogul Ted Turner and U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, who received it two months before his death in 2009.
“Obviously it is super exciting to have him coming again,” said graduate student Jessica Miskelly, 26, who was the concertmaster when Perlman played with the symphony in March 2011 and will occupy the same chair Sunday. “I never expected him to come back so soon. He must have enjoyed himself the first time.”
UK Symphony director John Nardolillo notes that Perlman has had a busy month, including performances with the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic. The latter was broadcast Thursday on PBS. He also has been busy promoting his new album of traditional Jewish music, Eternal Echoes: Songs and Dances for the Soul, with Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot.
“He didn’t have to come here,” Nardolillo said. “He could have easily said, ‘I want to take Sunday night off.’ But he’s coming.”
Like many of the UK Symphony’s recent big gigs, including last year’s concert with jazz and pop ensemble Pink Martini, the Singletary Center for the Arts is the driving force behind pairing the orchestra with the major players.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich