Itzhak Perlman: I would not meet Trump

Itzhak Perlman: I would not meet Trump


norman lebrecht

November 12, 2017

From a Billboard interview with Toby and Itzhak Perlman:

Toby Perlman: There were surprises in that time. We didn’t know that we’d be having tea with the prime minister of Israel [Benjamin Netanyahu]. That was also problematic because [of his politics]…

How do you negotiate a time like that?

Toby Perlman: Be polite — and he has a dog; that changes everything.

Itzhak Perlman: You have to look at it as a respecting the office of the person.

Alison Chernick: It’s great to meet the head of state — of any state.

Toby Perlman: But with Trump, you just don’t go. You say, “No, I’m sorry, I’m busy.”

Alison Chernick: “I’m sick that day.” He had just won this amazing award. It was an honor so we tried to get it in the film, but not in any way that necessarily showed support with his politics.

And the case would be different if Donald Trump extended an invitation?

Itzhak Perlman: My argument about respecting the office? In this case I would definitely make an exception.

Read on here.


  • Robert Roy says:

    Just when I thought my respect for Mr. Perlman couldn’t get any greater!

  • Olassus says:

    This is like Joe Biden announcing last week he regrets “not being president.” Toby Perlman can spare us his hypothesis.

  • Steve P says:

    (yawn) But that pretty much goes for every major classical performing artist so a non-story by most any measure.
    One of the few things professional basketballers and classical musicians have in common, I guess.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    What did you expect him or any other high profile classical soloist to say? He surely does not want AFA, BLM & Co. protesting against his latest Mendelsohn concerto performance or something so…

  • Mike Schachter says:

    Predictable virtue signalling, not so much fake news as non news.

  • Ben says:

    President’s Day in United States shall be renamed to Paper Bag Day until Trump is no longer in the office.

    We need to put a paper bag over our head to live another day.

    That’s how bad it is.

    • Steve P says:

      Sez you. I’m having a ball watching the SJW meltdowns and MSM hissy fits. Don’t look now – another “shocking” scandal!!!!!

  • Doug says:

    Who is really creepy? Leftist elites who abuse power and get away with it because of a sympathetic media. Or “useful idiots” like all of you left leaning sheep here who ignore facts? Remove the scales and take a look.

  • John Porter says:

    So, all of you who don’t like what the Perlman’s had to say can skip purchasing Itzhak’s recordings and decline to go to hear him perform live. That’s your right, just as it is theirs to speak out. Maybe you can go listen to someone like Gideon Kremer, oh snap, but you can’t, because he speaks out as well. Try a Heifetz recording, you won’t have to listen to his opinion on our America’s president.

    • Steve P says:

      Never implied I would take a moral stand against an artist with whom I disagree. I have never been a huge fan of Perlman, but I respect his musicianship and his right to have whatever liberal idiot opinion he wants to have.

  • Mark says:

    Actually, Toby (Mrs. Perlman) said that, as far as I can tell. With all due respect, one has to show proper respect for the office and one’s adopted country (Maestro Perlman is a naturalized citizen), not just the occupant of the White House. So if tomorrow there is a state reception for the PM or the President of Israel, Itzhak Perlman isn’t showing up ? Also, I think our dear Maestro (whose playing I’ve always loved) has been taken in by Obama – he doesn’t know much about classical music (evident from his three failed attempts to pronounce Martha Argerich’s name) and his tastes run mostly toward pop. I sincerely doubt he spends much time listening to classical violin. Remember this ?