Partner Profile: The Perlman Music Program

Published by Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation on


Founded in 1994 by Toby Perlman, the Perlman Music Program (PMP) offers unparalleled musical training to young string players of rare and special talent. With a world-class faculty led by renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman, PMP is developing the future leaders of classical music within a nurturing and supportive community. PMP seeks to ensure that the very best musicians can take advantage of this opportunity, regardless of their economic background or financial means.

The Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation is a proud supporter of PMP’s Israel Residency travel program, which fosters a vibrant cultural and educational exchange between PMP students and their Israeli peers, mentored by Toby and Itzhak Perlman. The Foundation’s ongoing support allows PMP students to engage in classes at the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv and visit historic sites like Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Old Jaffa, and more.

When classically-trained violinist Toby Perlman founded The Perlman Music Program 26 years ago, she wanted to create a space that would encourage students to take artistic risks without feeling judged and allow them to fully develop their musical skills alongside their peers. 

“Toby wanted to build a place where kids would be together, rather than compete with each other,” said Anna Kaplan, Executive Director at PMP.

Today, The Perlman Music Program offers programs, residencies, and mentorship all year long for an exceptional community of young artists. PMP’s distinguished faculty is led by Toby’s husband of over 50 years, world-famous violinist and maestro Itzhak Perlman. A small student body, completely individualized approach, and focus on community are the hallmarks of the PMP philosophy. The Perlman’s recipe for success is proven through its extraordinary alumni, who are redefining the face of classical music around the world.

The Israel Residency adds dimension to PMP’s core programming while creating life-changing experiences for students, encouraging them to grow as artists and people. The Residency brings a group of exceptional PMP artists and faculty together with talented young Israeli string players for a truly unforgettable cultural exchange, administered by the Lin and Ted Arison Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv. Faculty and students delve into orchestral masterworks under Maestro Perlman’s baton, perform solo and chamber music, and sing together in chorus daily.

Engagement with the local community is a core value of the Israel Residency. In 2018, students explored collaborative and teaching opportunities as ambassadors to the Arab-Jewish Orchestra of Israel, the Perlman-Genesis Project, and a Tel Aviv based youth orchestra. Time is also set aside for equally important cultural experiences. Students run relays in Caesarea, swim in the Dead Sea, climb to Masada, stroll the boardwalk at the Port of Tel Aviv, ride camels in the Judaean Desert, and share a Passover Seder with host families. These moments expose international students to the beauty and history of Israel, and set the tone for a full, happy life.

The Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation’s leadership support will fund PMP’s next Israel Residency, ensuring that this remarkable program will continue to flourish. “The residency is a way to bring the excellent teaching and faculty of our program to Israel and foster a cultural exchange between the kids,” said Kaplan. “We are so grateful to The Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation for their ongoing support of this program. This gift is completely transformative to us and allows us to really bring the whole residency together for the students.”

The Israel Residency doesn’t just teach students how to explore and advance their musical ability. It helps them grow as individuals, giving them the opportunity to challenge themselves as artists, immerse themselves in another culture and build friendships and international bonds that last a lifetime.  

“Essentially, we are building the next generation of leaders,” said Katie Nojima, Director of Development at PMP. “And to know we have a partner [in The Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation] that understands what we’re trying to accomplish is beyond amazing. They really see the ripple effect their contributions have on the future of both the students in the program, and the program itself.”

The Perlman Music Program’s 10th Israel Residency was scheduled to kick off in April 2020, but due to the spread of COVID-19, it has been postponed to ensure the health and safety of students, staff, and audiences. The 2020 Israel Residency will be rescheduled as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, PMP is staying connected to students and alumni to provide guidance and mentorship in these uncertain times, and is particularly grateful for the steadfast support of the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation. 

Learn more about The Perlman Music Program at: