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Itzhak Perlman

It’s been a typically busy month for world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman. He picked up a Kennedy Center award for lifetime achievement in the arts in Washington, D.C. In his soon-to-end role as interim musical director, Perlman conducted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah. He performed Bruch’s Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall, at a fundraiser with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Now, he’s coming to Proctor’s tonight (Thursday) for a special recital with pianist Rohan De Silva.

Perlman has been a classical-music superstar since the ’60s, when he made his splash on the American scene with his appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Like any classical artist who manages to make a mark in this pop-dominated culture, he conquered through a winning combination of virtuosity and personality: He just seems like a nice guy. (Typical Perlman comment, regarding the Kennedy Center award: “This is nice. This is very, very nice.”)

Tonight, Perlman will lead off with three sonatas: J.S. Bach’s Sonata No. 6 for Violin and Keyboard, followed by works of Beethoven and Poulenc. Then he will play a variety of smaller pieces, personal favorites drawn from an array of styles.

Itzhak Perlman will perform tonight (Thursday, Jan. 8) at 8 PM at Proctor’s Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady). Tickets are $65.50, $50.50 and $40.50. Special prices for concertgoers under 12 are available. For more information, call 346-6204.

You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train

For more than 40 years, Howard Zinn has played the role of America’s conscience: In his more than 20 books and plays, Zinn has identified the lapses of America’s political integrity, debunked the myth of an infallibly moral nation and sounded an unwavering call to action for its concerned citizens. The monumental nature of the obstacles to his task notwithstanding, Zinn has performed something of a minor miracle: He has done all this without being shrill, strident or humorless. He confronts head on the persistent misinformation about the “righteous” enaction of the American mission—most notably in his best-selling A People’s History of the United States 1492-Present—with a plainspoken humanism and palpable respect for his reader.

His most recent work is a 1994 memoir titled You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train; this book in turn inspired filmmakers Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller to make a documentary of the same name that covers Zinn’s life as a teacher, writer and social activist. On Sunday and Monday, Time & Space Limited will host screenings of the documentary, the first of which will also feature an appearance by Ellis. Though the initial impetus, according to the filmmakers, was to document the life of one of the “elder statesmen of the burgeoning youth movement,” events of the past years have shifted and tightened the focus: A statement at the filmmakers’ Web site states, “In an age when politicians cry necessity of war, Zinn challenges the moral bankruptcy of their pleas.”

Time & Space Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson) will screen You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train on Sunday and Monday (Jan. 10-11) at 4 PM. Tickets are $5 for TSL members, $7.50 nonmembers. For more information, call 822-8448.

Victor Wooten

If it’s futuristic bluegrass, earthy funk, jazz fusion, or just plain technical mastery that floats your boat, electric-bass virtuoso Victor Wooten is your man. You might recognize Wooten as one of Béla Fleck’s Flecktones, but over the last decade his pioneering work has propelled him to solo critical acclaim as well. He picked up a bass at age three and professionally debuted two years later in a band with his brothers, two of whom are still fixtures in his bands. Now, Wooten has a few Grammys under his belt and was twice named Bassist of the Year by the Nashville Music Awards.

The Victor Wooten Band hit the pavement on a winter tour this week to test some material from their forthcoming album, and will perform Sunday (Jan. 11) at 7 PM at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Tickets are $22. For reservations and information, call 473-1845 or visit

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