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Itzhak Perlman (b. 1945) is an Israeli virtuoso violinist and teacher. He is one of the most famous violinists of the late 20th century.
In 1981, Perlman appeared in a poignant segment demonstrating that people with disabilities in one area can have exceptional abilities in others. A little girl runs up steps to a platform and sits down with her violin. Perlman, who was born with polio, climbs up using his crutches. "Some things that are really easy for you," he says while getting in the chair next to her, "are really hard for me." Perlman then plays his violin very quickly and masterfully, to which she responds, "Yes, but some things that are easy for you are hard for me," as she plays at a more beginner level. (EKA: Episode 1563) This segment was included in VH1's special, The Greatest TV Moments: Sesame Street Music A-Z.
In another segment, Perlman plays a Beethoven duet with Telly Monster, who accompanies him on the tuba. (EKA: Episode 1446) Perlman also appeared in the celebrity version of "Put Down the Duckie", and made a Season 12 appearance with Oscar the Grouch.
In 1986, Perlman appeared in several episodes of the home video series Shalom Sesame, a co-production between Sesame Street and the Israeli Sesame show, Rechov Sumsum. In episode 3, Perlman discusses fruits and vegetables, introduces a Muppet song, and counts to four on his violin.
- In the video Rowlf's Rhapsodies with the Muppets, Rowlf tells Gonzo, "You are standing in the very piano sold to me by Itzhak Perlman when he remembered he was really a violinist!"
- In the Sesame Street video Sing Along, Sully warms up his piano-playing fingers to ready himself for a song. The panache with which he plays prompts Big Bird to note that "he's a regular Itzhak Perlman."