Out of the Blue

Performing with Perlman

Violinist Itzhak Perlman performing with the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2020.
Photo by Jaren Wilkey

It’s the most important concert in the history of the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra. At least director Kory L. Katseanes thinks so. After all, how often are young musicians able to perform with the foremost practitioner of their craft? Students in the Philharmonic did exactly that as they performed with top violinist Itzhak Perlman in a sold-out concert in January.

“It’s not easy to quantify what this performance means for students in the orchestra,” says Katseanes. “There’s never been a classical artist as well known, as beloved as Itzhak Perlman.”

“We worked harder than we ever have before,” says Katseanes. “We’re not trying to be a good university orchestra—we’re trying to play to professional standards, the highest standards of the art itself.”

For concertmaster Rachel Sorensen Christensen (BM ’19), a graduate student in violin performance, the experience was life changing: “I’ll lean on everything that I’ve learned from Perlman throughout my entire life and use him as inspiration for my future students.”

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