September 2, 2009

Perlman to perform polio benefit concert

Rotary International says it is joining violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman and the New York Philharmonic to present the Concert to End Polio.

The benefit performance will support the global effort to eradicate the disabling childhood disease.

The concert is to take place Dec. 2 in Avery Fisher Hall at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

We are honored that an artist of Mr. Perlman's stature and a cultural institution as revered as the New York Philharmonic are supporting Rotary in our effort to achieve a polio-free world, Rotary International President John Kenny said in a statement. Their participation demonstrates the importance of this unprecedented global health initiative. It will be our lasting gift to the world's children.

The fact that polio is still around is ridiculous, said Perlman, who contracted the disease at age 4 and overcame serious physical challenges to become one of the world's most celebrated musicians. There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to get polio. This is an issue that has to be dealt with immediately.