Itzhak Perlman Named 2016 Genesis Prize Laureate
December 14, 2015 at 6:26 AM (PT)
Violin virtuoso ITZHAK PERLMAN has been named the 2016 GENESIS Prize Laureate, winning the annual $1 million award given by the GENESIS PRIZE FOUNDATION to those who "have achieved extraordinary professional success, have made a significant contribution to humanity, and inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and the State of ISRAEL." The award was previously bestowed upon former NEW YORK Mayor and BLOOMBERG RADIO founder MICHAEL BLOOMBERG and actor MICHAEL DOUGLAS. PERLMAN, who will receive the honor at a JUNE 23rd ceremony in JERUSALEM and intends to use the prize to work for better access for the disabled and development of young musical talent, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on NOVEMBER 25th.
"ITZHAK PERLMAN is the embodiment of everything an ideal Genesis Prize Laureate should be," said GENESIS PRIZE FOUNDATION Chairman and Co-Founder STAN POLOVETS. "Itzhak has achieved unparalleled professional success, and through his music brings joy to millions of people around the world. A 16 time GRAMMY award winner, he has been an incredible source of inspiration for individuals with special needs by overcoming tremendous personal challenges after having been severely disabled by polio at age four. And he has given back to society by dedicating virtually all of his free time and significant resources to teaching young talented musicians and to serving as an advocate for individuals with disabilities. We are delighted to have ITZHAK as our 2016 Laureate."
ISRAEL Prime Minister BENJAMIN NETANYAHU said, "I congratulate ITZHAK PERLMAN on being selected as the 2016 GENESIS Prize Laureate and on being named a recipient of the UNITED STATES Presidential Medal of Freedom. I am proud that such prestigious awards have been bestowed on a citizen of ISRAEL. While it is coincidental that these announcements came close together, they provide an opportunity to reflect on ITZHAK's exceptional and varied contribution to humanity in his role as the 'Fiddler to the World.'"
"I am humbled and honored to receive the GENESIS Prize, recognizing not just my professional achievements and my desire to improve the world, but also my commitment to my Jewish identity, Jewish values, and Jewish culture," said PERLMAN. "I have always been very proud of my Jewish heritage, which has greatly influenced my music, my world view, and my work as an advocate for individuals whom society often leaves behind."
"ITZHAK is a true citizen of the world," said WARNER MUSIC GROUP parent ACCESS INDUSTRIES Chairman LEN BLAVATNIK. "He has not only moved millions of listeners with his transcendent music, but he has changed countless lives through his passionate commitment to the Jewish community, to those in need across the globe, and to young musical talent. This is a richly deserved recognition of an extraordinary artist and an exceptional human being."
“As a musician, as well as a community leader, we’re incredibly proud of everything ITZHAK has accomplished,” said WARNER CLASSICS President ALAIN LANCERON. “I speak for the entire WARNER CLASSICS team when I say it is a privilege to work alongside such an esteemed individual. Congratulations, ITZHAK.”