With four years Itzhak Perlman contracted polio. He could be cured, but has to rely on crutches as a result of the disease and therefore plays in the seats. He began his musical education at the Academy of Music in Jaffa. Later he moved to the U.S. to study at the Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay. His debut at Carnegie Hall he gave in 1963.
In addition to long concert tours, he also appeared repeatedly on television broadcasts. His performances with the violinist Pinchas Zukerman was known. Larger notoriety outside of the classical world he gained through the music composed by John Williams and Oscar-winning film score for Schindler's List, which contains as a main theme dedicated to him and he played violin solo. Later he was to hear The Geisha the movie again in a John Williams soundtrack.
In addition to his solo success, he has achieved a remarkable educational career, he gives private lessons and master classes around the world granted for violin and chamber music. He currently teaches at the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair of Violin Studies at the Juilliard School (New York), a position that had held his teacher Dorothy DeLay before him.
Perlman plays the Soil Stradivarius from 1714, which was owned by Yehudi Menuhin before.