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October 18, 2022 53 min

Every other week this fall, we will be airing some of Alec’s favorite episodes from our archives. This week, we feature two supernovas of the musical world: acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming and the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman. Opera singer Renée Fleming, whose voice has been described as "double cream," remembers her beginnings in music, overcoming stage fright and her professional debut in this 2012 conversation. Fleming talks about the rigors of preparation for performing and the challenges of being heard, without amplification, over an orchestra. In this conversation from 2019, legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman speaks with Alec in front of a live audience at the NYU Skirball Center, discussing his difficult childhood, being stricken by polio in the war-torn early days of Israeli statehood -- and coming to the United States at 13 to play on the Ed Sullivan Show. Perlman also performs live with wife Toby Perlman and eight former students from the Perlman Music Program, a summer school on Shelter Island that provide a safe space for young musical geniuses to develop their talents, and themselves.

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