How do you describe the Itzhak Perlman performance last evening with the Eugene Symphony at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts? The analogy of how we describe the taste of honey also suits what it is like hearing a legendary performing artist. We can try to describe what we saw and felt but it does not fully capture the experience.
It is difficult to capture in words what being at an Itzhak Perlman performance is like. How do we explain our marvel at the mark of high human achievement we saw before us? Our awe at a performer with fingers more nimble than we would believe to be possible? A performer whose career has been touching people around the globe for over 50 years?
I ran into one of my students after the performance and asked her what she thought of the performance. I realized immediately that was not the appropriate question because when you hear Perlman perform it is not something you think about but something you feel. The feelings generated by a performer like Perlman pull you into the undertow of the mystery of life and a place where humanity connects within us. This connection is why we find live performances so valuable and necessary in our lives.