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Renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman wins 2016 Genesis prize
The Israeli-US violinist Itzhak Perlman has been awarded the 2016 Genesis prize for his accomplishments as a musician, teacher and advocate for people with disabilities, the organisers of the honour announced. The $1m (£660,000) prize, dubbed the Jewish Nobel, is given annually to an individual who has achieved professional success, contributed to humanity and shown a strong commitment to Jewish causes and the state of Israel.
Perlman said he was humbled to be recognised not only for his personal accomplishments, but also for his commitment to his Jewish identity.Perlman, 70, has won 16 Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award in 2008, and played the violin solo in John Williams’s Oscar-winning soundtrack for the 1993 film Schindler’s List. He has performed with or conducted the world’s top symphony orchestras, and has been a regular guest at White House events. Last month, he received the US presidential medal of freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour.
Perlman has shared his love of music with diverse audiences, appearing on late-night comedy programmes, the children’s TV show Sesame Street, and special programmes on US public television. With his wife, Toby, he helps run the Perlman Music Program for young musicians. Treated for polio as a child, the violinist, who walks with crutches, has been a vocal advocate for disabled people. The prize was inaugurated in 2014. The former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg was the recipient of the first prize, and the actor Michael Douglas was this year’s winner.