Obama grants Medal of Freedom to Perlman, Sondheim, Streisand

Obama grants Medal of Freedom to Perlman, Sondheim, Streisand


norman lebrecht

November 17, 2015

The three artists will receive America’s highest civilian honour next Tuesday at the White House.

The 17 lining up for the medal will also include Hollywood director Stephen Spielberg, singers Gloria and Emilio Estefan, singer-songwriter James Taylor and baseball greats Willie Mays and the family of the late Yogi Berra.

The president, in his citation, says they are ‘men and women who have enriched our lives and helped define our shared experience as Americans.’


itzhal perlman
Perlman plays the White House


  • V.Lind says:

    Just curious: you suggesting that Spielberg, Taylor and the Estefans are not artists?

    The White House release from the Office of the Press Secretary naming the recipients includes a brief bio of each. Perlman’s begins as follows:

    “Itzhak Perlman is a treasured conductor and sought-after teacher.”

    Not once in a long paragraph is the word “violin” or “violinist” used. These releases are the basis of much reporting. Most American newspapers will, therefore, be celebrating the inclusion of conductor Itzhak Perlman.

    • Jaxon says:

      No one is suggesting this. Why would you say such a thing?

      I do agree with you that Perlman’s bio is bizarre in the extreme. The word “violin” doesn’t even appear in it.

  • Heywood Jalissen says:

    So the medals must exempt them from the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act, right?

  • Joe says:

    Someone has to say it: Perlman RICHLY deserves this. Above all for his violin playing – the greatest I’ve personally experienced in concert, and I’ve experienced a lot – but hey, if he wants to be called a conductor, that’s fine with me.

    • V.Lind says:

      I know he conducts and teaches. But surely the White House Press Office release ought to mention that he plays the violin? He is surely currently the greatest violinist in the world? And the morons who write their stories off press releases will not know that.

  • 110 says: