In Mosul, Itzhak Perlman is leading the anti-IS resistance

In Mosul, Itzhak Perlman is leading the anti-IS resistance


norman lebrecht

November 03, 2016

There’s a man in Mosul who listens to Perlman playing while he writes a secret underground journal of life under the murderous so-called Islamic State.

Yesterday, he wrote:

Quietness and calm are still dominant in Mosul. I will not write about fear tonight. I will write about my dreams that might not happen, may be not in my life time, because they remain dreams and imaginations, and I very well know that the greatest inventions were born from imaginations.

I listen to Itzhak Perlman, and learn about his wonderful relationship with his instrument, The Soil Stradivarius, that was made by the Italian Antonio Stradivari, I have always asked myself how a human being is capable of creating such a beauty from the ruins. Hence, Perlman’s, Yehudi Menuhin’s and Richard George Strauss’s concertos were there for me

I remember when I come back home after hours of wondering Mosul’s streets to witness ISIL absurdity and the destruction that ravaged the city, nothing could have helped me more than listening to those concertos, lighting a candle, resting on my chair and listening to Yehudi Menuhin playing “Mozart’s Violin concerto No. 3”. 

itzhak perlman youtube

Read the full post here.


  • John Borstlap says:

    Heartbreaking, and touching. It shows that in the end, the human being is a spiritual being, and that music which can reach that layer of existential awareness, is here to keep this aspirational element alive. In the same way, during WW II people scrambled along the ruins to the concert hall where the local orchestra played a classical programme, in order to feel for a short while what it means to be human.

    Compare that to the spoiled, commercial and decadent sides of Western music life.

  • Marg says:

    Very powerful and moving.

  • Ben Dominitz says:

    Western music seems to reach every part of humanity. The violin is the most human-sounding of instruments. Mozart is the most humanistic. Menuhin and Perlman, among the most accessible, human artists. And this lone voice in Mosul, is crying out to humanity to release him from the human bondage that knows nothing but cruelty.