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Black Tie International:
The Perlman Music Program 20th Annual Summer Gala


 Itzhak Perlman and the Perlamn Music Programs students.  Photo by:  Annie Watt

 Itzhak Perlman and the Perlamn Music Programs students
Photo by:  Annie Watt

This past Saturday, August 2 saw a special anniversary for The Perlman Music Program (PMP).Toby and Itzhak Perlman celebrated their exceptional music school’s 20th anniversary at the Program’s annual summer gala, in an evening marked by generosity, artistry, and friendship.  The event was graciously hosted by Annette and Ian Cumming at their beautiful East Hampton home and co-chaired by PMP Board President Morgan Stark and Sidney Stark.  Despite a soggy start to the day, the weather brightened just in time for a festive reception on the lawn overlooking the water. 
After cocktails, guests were treated to a concert by the Perlmans’ phenomenal young students: 39 classical string musicians aged 12-18, representing 9 countries and 13 states, all in residence for the summer on PMP’s Shelter Island campus.  After an anniversary film tribute created by alumna Bella Markham, the PMP Chorus took the stage.  Comprised of students, fellows, community members, and faculty – Toby and Itzhak Perlman among them – and led by inimitable Maestro Patrick Romano, the singers took guests on a musical journey through Bach, Rossini, Morley and Elgar.  Faculty member Catherine Cho and surprise guest Itzhak Perlman lent their artistry to “The Snow”, Elgar’s haunting masterpiece for chorus and two solo violins.  Students hastened backstage after singing to retrieve their instruments, and the superlative PMP String Orchestra unleashed its musical powers for the delighted audience.  Maestro Itzhak Perlman conducted a sparkling program of Respighi, Copland, and Elgar’s “Introduction and Allegro” for orchestra and string quartet.  The acclaimed Ariel String Quartet, comprised of accomplished PMP alums Amit Even-Tov, Gershon Gerchikov, Jan Grüning and Alexandra Kazovsky, returned to the PMP stage to do the honors with a masterful performance.
PMP Board President Morgan Stark recognized the entire PMP board of directors in attendance: Randall BlankJay Dweck,Vicki Kellogg, Mark Miller, and Laura Sloate, and thanked Ian and Annette for their extraordinary generosity to the Program. Thanks to all the supportive guests in attendance, the evening raised over $500,000 to support PMP’s mission to educate and support the next generation of classical musicians.
During dessert, guests were treated to the sweet sounds of PMP’s doo-wop quartet, a fun summer tradition.  Associate Director Merry Peckham and fellow Tim Bontje joined Itzhak Perlman and Patrick Romano, with support from faculty Cathy Cho on violin and Rachel Calin on double bass.  Students joined in for a rousing finish, capped off by a surprise tribute for Toby and Itzhak to commemorate 20 years of their extraordinary stewardship of classical music’s future.
The evening’s guests - numbering over 250 - and generous contributors included lead supporters Arlene and Alan Alda, Gabrielle and Louis Bacon, Alec Baldwin, M. Elaine Crocker, Marjorie Fisher, Barbara Gladstone, Mei Sze and Jeff Greene, Cornelia and Ralph Heins, Eleanora and Michael Kennedy, Chiara and Jamie Mai, Ernst A. Nijkerk, Pamela and Edward Pantzer, and Carol and Lawrence Saper.




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