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Iran Shots U.S. Drone, Trump Says Iran Made A Big Mistake; U.N. Special Rapporteur Released Independent Investigation On Jamal Khashoggi Murder; Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabian Minister Of State For Foreign Affairs, Is Interviewed About The U.N. Special Rapporteur's Investigation; Will U.S. Retaliate To Iran For Downing Down Drone?; A Road Map To De- Escalation Between Iran And The United States; Gerard Araud, Former French Ambassador To The United States, Is Interviewed About Iran And U.S.; Itzhak Perlman, Violinist and Conductor, Is Interviewed About Teaching; The Shed. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired October 2, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR. This week, we're dipping into the archives and
looking back at some of our favorite interviews from the year. Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI ARABIAN MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: It's a gruesome murder that happened outside authorities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Saudi Arabia's minister of state for foreign affairs joins me. He's response to an independent investigation blaming his country for the
murder of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Then, as relations between Iran and the United States go downhill, Europe is getting squeezed in the middle. We speak to Gerard Araud, the former
French ambassador the United States and the United Nations.
Plus, the greatest violinist alive, Itzhak Perlman, is on the program on playing, conducting and his master classes.
Plus, what it took to build the shed. Our Hari Sreenivasan speaks to one of the architects behind New York's acclaimed new art center.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
The situation is deterring fast in the Persian Gulf, where after attacks against shipping, Iran shot down a U.S. drone earlier today. Tehran
insists they fired on the drone because it was in Iranian airspace. While the U.S. military called it an unprovoked attack over international waters.
But later, meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, President Trump said that he has a feeling Iran's action was a mistake and
that he finds it hard to believe it was intentional. He was also asked if the United States will strike Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Iran made a big mistake. This drone was in international waters, clearly. We have it all documented. It's document
scientifically, not just words. And they made a very bad mistake. OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How will you respond, Mr. President?
TRUMP: You'll find out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you willing to go to war with (INAUDIBLE)?
TRUMP: You'll find out. You'll find out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: More on this developing story in a moment. But first, we look to another power in the Arab world under the world's microscope, Iran's
arch-enemy, Saudi Arabia. Eight months after the murder of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, an independent investigation was released this
week by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, which is exposing disturbing details, like the hit squad calling him their
sacrificial animal and describing how they would dismember the journalist.
The report says Khashoggi's murder was methodically planned and carried out by officials working on behalf of the Saudi State. The U.N. is now asking
for further investigation into the kingdom's accountability.
Now, the Saudi State is responding. And I spoke about these shocking findings with Adel al-Jubeir, the minister of state for foreign affairs
here at the Saudi embassy in London.
Adel al-Jubeir, welcome to the program.
AL-JUBEIR, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs: Thank you. Great to be here.
AMANPOUR: The Special Repertoire has called it a deliberate premedicated execution, the killing of Jamal Khashoggi by the state, a state killing.
Is the state ready to accept responsibility?
AL-JUBEIR: We disagree with her conclusions. We don't believe she has a mandate. We believe that her report is flawed. We believe there are
internal contradictions in the report. We believe that it was based on meager reporting and anonymous sources. We believe that her description of
the trials in Saudi Arabia, calling them secret is not correct. We have representatives of the permanent five countries as well as Turkey, as well
as NGOs from Saudi Arabia at those trials.
The investigation is ongoing and continuing and the trials are continuing. We believe that the Saudi prosecutors are the ones who should lead the
investigation and the Saudi judicial system is the one who should adjudicate this.
AMANPOUR: Now, you say that she doesn't have credibility and that it's extrajudicial and you have complained about her complaints. This is what
she actually says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AGNES CALLAMARD, U.N. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTIONS: My inquiry focused, first and foremost, on the responsibilities of the state.
I think it is important to insist upon the fact that the killing of Mr. Khashoggi was a state killing. That the killing and the circumstances of
the killing meant that a number of other violations took place, including violations of international law for which the State of Saudi Arabia is
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Do you take that seriously?
AL-JUBEIR: We have made it very clear that this is a rogue operation that was not authorized. The king ordered an investigation. The investigation
led to exposing the truth of the fact that Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi [13:05:00] consulate by officials who exceeded authority and had no
mandate to do so. Those individuals were arrested and they were charged and they are facing trial as we speak.
AMANPOUR: Do you accept what even your allies say that there is actually no way something like this could have happened without the sign-off, the
knowledge of the highest authorities? And while this report does not hold Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at all responsible or talks about his
responsibility, there are calls for more investigation into that fact?
AL-JUBEIR: We have never had an instant like this in the history Saudi Arabia. This is not how we operate. The Abu Ghraib happened that the
president of the United States knew about it. Iran-Contra happened, that President Reagan knew about it. People exceed their authorities
unfortunately and this was a great tragedy and a painful tragedy for Saudi Arabia and for Jamal Khashoggi's family.
The investigations are ongoing, the trial is ongoing, and those who committed this crime will be punished. We have also reviewed the
procedures of our intelligence service to ensure that mechanisms are put in place to prevent something like this from happening again.
AMANPOUR: So, as you know, the Reagan administration was held accountable under congressional testimony for Iran-Contra. People were punished and in
fact convicted. You also know that Abu Ghraib, people were held responsible before the courts, particularly the military courts. It hasn't
yet happened in Saudi Arabia.
But I want to ask you this. We first met back in the first Gulf War when you yourself was in charge of us, the press.
AL-JUBEIR: Nobody is ever in charge of the press.
AMANPOUR: Well, you were, and there was a pretty decent relationship. Jamal Khashoggi was a member of the press. He was a Saudi patriot. I want
to ask you what you think when you hear the following words, this is from Turkish intelligence and from other intelligence. And we also know that
the head CIA, Gina Haspel, has heard this intelligence and these takes.
So, people go into, Saudis go into the consulate. "We will take you back, they say to Khashoggi. This is an order from Interpol. Khashoggi says,
there isn't a case against me, and warns him that people are waiting outside. They then instruct him to write a text message to his son. Then
they argue about what to say, and they say to him, cut it short. There is a struggle." What do you think when you hear that?
AL-JUBEIR: Well, let me first respond to your first question about the holding to account people who committed Abu Ghraib and who committed Iran -
AMANPOUR: No, no. First, I want to ask you this. Sorry, that's red herring.
AL-JUBEIR: Because in our case, the reason the trials are ongoing and people will be punished. We have --
AMANPOUR: I want to you what your reaction is to this.
AL-JUBEIR: With regards to the reaction to the tape, we know this was a rogue operation that was not authorized, we know a crime was committed, we
have people in jail and they're on trial as we speak.
AMANPOUR: What do you say to the following? Khashoggi says, "There is a towel here. Are you going to give me drugs?" And they said, "We will
anesthetize you." And then there's a struggle and then a man asked whether Khashoggi is passed out. And then another one -- or the same one says, "He
raises his head." Another one says, "Keep pushing. Push here. Don't remove your hand. Push it."
AL-JUBEIR: It's a gruesome murder that happened outside authorities and for which the people who committed it will be punished. That's why there
is a trial, that's why there is an ongoing investigation. This never should have happened.
AMANPOUR: Then there is an even more gruesome one, even. "A Saudi official asked whether it would be possible to put the trunk of the body in
a bag. Another one replied, no, it's too heavy. It's not a problem, the body is heavy. First, I might cut on the ground, if we take plastic bags
and cut it into pieces, it will be finished. We will wrap each of them."
AL-JUBEIR: Terrible. This is terrible. I told you, this is a gruesome murder that took place without authorization for which the people who
perpetrated are being punished now. They're in court, they're on trial and they will be punished. We have made that very clear.
AMANPOUR: They believe that his head was put if a plastic bag and he was suffocated. His fiancee, Hatice, who I have spoken to, and many others
have, has said the following.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HATICE CENGIZ, JAMAL KHASHOGGI'S FIANCEE (through translator): There has been a murder. The murderers have not been captured. The whole humanity
are curious. I am wondering why no significant real steps are being taken so far. What happened to his body, for example? No one has given any
answers. No one has given any clear-cut, straightforward answers to that question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Are you able, on behalf of the state, to give an answer to where Jamal's cut-up, dismembered body is, where those bags were and apologize to
AL-JUBEIR: Our understanding from the investigations is that the body was given to a local collaborator in order to dispose of it. And we have tried
to reach out to the Turkish authorities to have -- to work on this issue, to identify the collaborator in order to question him and we have not
gotten a response.
AMANPOUR: What would you say to her as a human being?
AL-JUBEIR: I think it is family. This is very upsetting. Anytime you lose a loved one in a gruesome murder like this, it's very upsetting.
Nobody wanted this to happen. This should not have [13:10:00] happened. And those who committed it must be punished to the first extent of the law.
Five of them are facing the death penalty.
AMANPOUR: See, one of the main ringleaders is said to have been furloughed and he is somewhere not in jail.
AL-JUBEIR: There are --
AMANPOUR: So, people are very, very concerned about that.
AL-JUBEIR: There are a number of people who are in jail, there are a number of people who were dismissed from their positions, there are a
number of people who remain under investigation. The decision of detaining somebody or not is something that's left to the public prosecutor.
AMANPOUR: As I said, even the CIA director has heard these tapes and believes in what the U.S. assessment was, and that is that it happened and
it's probably unlikely that it could happen without the highest sign-off.
Now, it's having an effect. And I guess I want to know how Saudi Arabia is going to conduct its foreign relations going forward, because this is
having an effect. It's having an effect in your arms sales or arms sales to Saudi Arabia. As you know, the United States is in a big kerfuffle in
Congress with people not wanting to send arms to Saudi Arabia because of Yemen and the Khashoggi murder is a huge reason.
So, this is Senator Rand Paul, "A few nations should be trusted less than Saudi Arabia. In recent years, they have fomented human atrocities,
repeatedly lied to the United States, proved to be reckless, regional pariah. It is concerning and irresponsible for the United States to
continue providing them arms." That's from your closest ally.
Today, the U.K. in a landmark court ruling has seen arm sales suspended because of Yemen and violations of the laws of war.
AL-JUBEIR: I think that Rand Paul's statement is not accurate. I think he is misinformed. We entered Yemen in order to support the legitimate
government. The war in Yemen started nine months before the coalition intervened, and the coalition intervened at the request of the legislative
government in order to prevent Iran and its allies from taking over --
AMANPOUR: We're going to talk about Iran in a second. But there is a big argument in the United States.
AL-JUBEIR: That's one. The other argument with regards to the 22 resolutions of disapproval for weapon sales is a political issue domestic
to the U.S. There are other countries on that --
AMANPOUR: And to the U.K.
AL-JUBEIR: There are other on that list that they want to stop, including, if you read the resolutions, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, India, South
Korea, Israel, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain. It doesn't make sense to have these resolutions. We are fighting a legitimate war. The U.S. is projecting
power into the region in order to deter Iranian aggression. Does Senator Rand Paul want to send more American troops --
AMANPOUR: It's not just Senator Rand Paul, there's a lot of people in the Senate.
AL-JUBEIR: Those who call for a suspension of weapons sales to the coalition are pleasing the death to America crowed.
AMANPOUR: Do you think the president or Congress will win this battle on arms?
AL-JUBEIR: I believe that the logic is very compelling for supporting Saudi Arabia and the coalition. I believe the alliance between Saudi
Arabia and the United States has existed for 80 years, has been critically important to the two countries and to stability in the region and in the
world, and I believe that wisdom will prevail and these issues will proceed.
AMANPOUR: Interestingly, the Former Defense Secretary, Ash Carter, told me that actually Saudi Arabia had not been a massively reliable military ally
and there needed to be a reset. We need, he said to me, to demand more of Saudi Arabia. We'll leave that for the moment.
Iran, which you are incredibly concerned with, and I know you have a particularly personal consideration, given there was a plot exposed --
AL-JUBEIR: Nothing personal.
AMANPOUR: -- to assassinate you. The president of the United States has now said that these attacks on shipping have had a "very minor impact."
Where is this headed, do you think? Saudi Arabia says it doesn't want war. The president of the United States says he doesn't want war. We're not
sure what his national security staff, particularly want or what the plan is. Where is this headed?
AL-JUBEIR: It's really up to the Iranians. We have made it very clear that nobody wants war and we don't want war, the U.S. doesn't want war. We
have also made it very clear that Iran's aggressive behavior must stop. Its undermining of freedom of navigation in the Gulf is not acceptable,
it's providing of ballistic missiles to terrorist groups like Hezbollah and the Houthis is not acceptable. Its support for terrorism is not acceptable
and its interference in the affairs of other countries at the region is not acceptable.
So, if Iran wants to be treated as a normal country, it has to comport itself as such.
AMANPOUR: Adel al-Jubeir, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
AL-JUBEIR: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Now, just after that interview, the U.S. Senate backed a resolution to block weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. President Trump has
threatened to veto that.
Now, back to the topic of our conversation which is Iran. Tensions are rising as President Trump vows that Iran will soon find out whether the
U.S. will retaliate for a downed American drone. The confrontation puts America's European allies in a bind. They, along with China and Russia,
are still committed to the nuclear deal that aims to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons.
So, joining us now with his take is Gerard Araud. He is the former French ambassador to the United States and to the United Nations. And he's
joining us [13:15:00] from New York.
Ambassador, welcome back to the program.
GERARD ARAUD, FORMER FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: Hello. Hi.
AMANPOUR: Let me get your sort of measure of what's happening. You can see this escalation in the Persian Gulf with now the drone. Well, how do
you read the words coming out of the U.S. today on this?
ARAUD: Now, I think President Trump has always been very consistent. He doesn't want war, but he considers that the policy of maximum pressure will
bring the Iranians to a negotiation.
I think it is -- it's not -- he is not wrong. You know, a negotiation is based on a balance of power, the Americans have always -- have the upper
hand. They are accepting a very strong pressure. So, we could hope that U.S. and the Iranians could come to a negotiation. But it would work only
if we have a diplomacy, if we have a diplomatic path, and that's what is strategically missing right now.
AMANPOUR: Well, as you say, let me just repeat for you the Middle East expert, Vali Nasr, has written in the "New York Times," "President Trump
may not want war, but he will get one unless he balances coercion with diplomacy. Tehran has met maximum pressure with maximum resistance. The
only option left is to talk."
I mean, it's kind of what you just said, but how? How does one get a path to talk through this war of words and, indeed, this attack on shipping, the
downing of the drone which, as you know, Iran says was in its own air space, over its waters?
ARAUD: No. I think you're perfectly right. We are in a very dangerous moment. We are really at the mercy of any incident. And we know that on
both sides you have radicals actually are looking for a war.
So, again, how can we create a diplomatic dialogue between the Americans and the Iranians? Which would mean on the American side that, in a sense,
they tell precisely what they want. Because on the American side, we have 12 maximum demands. It's obvious that Iranians are not going to accept the
12 -- these 12 overnight.
So, what is the sequence of these demands and what the Americans are ready to give to the Iranians, because in any negotiation, you have to give
something. And again, for the moment, nobody on the American side has been able to express it.
AMANPOUR: Yes. I mean, it does seem -- not only have they not expressed it, but we seem to be very far away from that, given, as I was saying, this
sort of military going back and forth that's going in the government.
Let me read what the Iranian foreign minister has said today, Javad Zarif, has tweeted that, "The U.S. wages economic terrorism on Iran, has conducted
covert action against us and now, encroaches on our territory. We don't seek war, but will zealously defend our skies, land and waters. We'll take
this new aggression to the U.N. and show that the U.S. is lying about international waters."
So, again, the verbal stakes are being raised. And I guess I want to ask you from a European perspective, where do you see the beginning of this
escalation? And I ask because the chief adviser to the European Union, foreign policy leader, Federica Mogherini, her adviser said that this
round, this vicious cycle, she says, was started by the United States and Europe will not follow the United States into any kind of military
aggression. And she said it was started by the U.S. violating the terms of the nuclear agreement by not just pulling out but sanctioning Iran.
ARAUD: Well, I don't think it's very useful, you know, to look for responsibility. Because, you know, you can say that everything started
with invasion of Iraq by the U.S. which really gave to Iran such big opportunities to move forward in the Middle East. But you have also the
behavior, general behavior of Iran which has been quite destructive in terms of its action in Syria.
So, again, what we have today is maximum tension. We need some de- escalation so that there is not one incident leading to a confrontation that even the president doesn't want but it can happen by a sort of
The French national security adviser was in Tehran yesterday and Europeans, we have always said to the Americans and to the Iranians that we are ready
to be the go-between both -- between both sides. I don't know if the Americans [13:20:00] are ready to go down this way because it would mean
not only saying, OK, we accept you as a go-between, but it would also mean on the American side and on the Iranian side real de-escalation measures.
AMANPOUR: Could you see a road map to de-escalation? I know you say it depends on the U.S. agreeing to have sort of a third-party or a go-between.
Can you see a road map to a de-escalation?
ARAUD: Well, you know, in what -- you know, in the quotation you gave about this European personality, there is a point which is right, is that
the Americans are waging an economic war against Iran. Really because of sanctions imposed by the United States are extremely punishing, and
punishing also at the expense of the civilian population.
So, maybe if the Americans were giving some waivers to some countries which really allow them to trade with Iran, it could be seen as a de-escalation
measure. It's provisional, it's partial, but it could be a positive signal coming from the American side.
But again, the basic point is, first, on the American side, a clear vision of what is a diplomatic path because it entails, you know, a sort of mutual
moves towards de-escalation. You know, the Americans can send a signal and we have to wait for the Iranians, of course, to reciprocate, but we have to
AMANPOUR: You know, it's really interesting you say that because, you know, you have said what the foreign minister says, waging economic --
well, they say economic terrorism. And the U.S. is believed to want, as part of its strategy, to squeeze Iran dry when it comes to exporting oil.
And this is what the Iranian ambassador to the U.K. told me about -- he said the U.S. and its allies in the region are trying to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAMID BAEIDINEJAD, IRANIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED KINGDOM: You know that there are countries in the region and beyond the region who have invested
heavily billions of billions of dollars to trap the United States into a conflict with Iran, a military conflict with Iran. They are, in fact, very
determined not to allow this project and would be a futile project. Because they feel maybe President Trump is not determined to go as much as
necessary. Maybe he doesn't want to go into a war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, you see what they're trying to do. They believe that President Trump is being pulled into this by his, as you said, hardliners
on both sides. So, hardliners in the U.S. And you just heard from the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs. How do you read that? Do you
think there are -- there is that coalition trying to provoke a war for whatever reason?
ARAUD: You know, yesterday, I was talking with the Iranian government representative to the United Nations and he told me, you know, the 12
demands, American demands I was referring to, is considered in Tehran as regime change. So, you have also on the Iranian side this concern. And we
-- in a sense, the American have also to dispel it.
And I am back to what I have said, the Americans have to offer a diplomatic offer. You know, we are going to negotiate. Because without a
negotiation, and we have only these 12 demands as a sort of ultimatum. On the Iranian side, you are obliged to consider that actually the ultimately
goal of the American is not a negotiation but is regime change in Iran.
AMANPOUR: Ambassador, thank you so much indeed for joining us. And indeed, there are mixed messages because the president says he wants to
negotiate and others are saying things that are much more hardline. Thank you so much.
And now, it must be time for a musical interlude in this program. My next guest is Itzhak Perlman. Revered by many as the greatest living violinist
today. His incredible career has seen him play for heads of state across the world and conduct some of the world's best orchestras. He joins me to
discuss his latest venture, teaching the next generation of violinists both in person and online with his new master class series.
Itzhak Perlman, welcome to the program.
ITZHAK PERLMAN, VIOLINIST AND CONDUCTOR: It's great to be here. Thank you.
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you from the very beginning. I mean, you were three, I think, when you were first drawn to the violin and picked up a
violin. How on earth did you know at such a young age? What was it about the violin that attracted you?
PERLMAN: Well, it's very [13:25:00] simple, it's just the sound. I heard it on the radio and I said to my parents, I want to do this. It's very,
very simple. And not everybody has the same reaction to sound. And some people react to the piano, they say, I want to be a pianist, or some people
react to a flute or to a -- I know somebody who actually reacted to the sound of a bass, contrabass. I heard the -- some very sweet wonderful
renditions of some violin music, and I said, I want to do that.
AMANPOUR: Even at three years old? I mean, it is incredible.
PERLMAN: I didn't start actually until I was almost five.
PERLMAN: But at three, I -- it was a very old --
AMANPOUR: Yes. The grand old age of five. But how difficult it must have been? I mean, the violin, you know, you can love it or hate it, but it's
still a very difficult instrument to play.
PERLMAN: Well, the violin -- you are absolutely correct. The violin is -- when you compare -- let's say, I always like to compare violin to piano.
Not that I'm belittling the difficulty of pianists, but in the beginning when you want to make a sound or you want to play a little tune, a simple
tune like "Twinkle, Twinkle," you can actually do it on the piano and actually produce a sound.
If you want to do the same thing on a violin, not so easy. Now, because you have to know where the bow is, you know to make sure where your fingers
are, it has to be in tune. It's very complicated
AMANPOUR: Did you ever feel that you were playing the violin too much and playing with your friends too little?
PERLMAN: No, I did that. I did both. You know, a typical day for me was to actually go to school until around 12:00, 12:30, and then I would have
lunch and then I would practice, you know, two, three hours, three hours sometimes, and then I would play with my friends. I would have like maybe
an hour of playing with friends and then it was dinnertime and then it was homework. So, it was a full day.
AMANPOUR: I mean, it really was a full day.
AMANPOUR: Itzhak, we haven't even said that at four -- at the age of four, you were attacked by polio.
AMANPOUR: Did it force you to be more passionate about the violin? What effect did it have on you?
PERLMAN: Well, I'll tell you, I wanted to play the violin, and it's just a few months later is that when the polio happened. And the thing is that
when you're young and you are -- your way of life is not yet set so much. You know, I was running around with my friends and -- you know, at the age
of three-and-a-half or four, so on and so forth, and then polio struck and then I was not able to do anything with my legs.
But you get used to it. But very simply it becomes a way of life. You know, I mean, I had to go and I had to get myself, you know, they took me
to the brace maker to make braces and to walk with crutches and it was just one of those things. But then after that, it was like, you know what, I
still want to play the violin. So, you know, my legs were affected but not my arms. I was very lucky. So, here we go. My parents looked for a
teacher, and they found one and then we started.
AMANPOUR: I mean, they gave you tough love, they made you do what you wanted to do. Sometimes parents do the opposite. They're afraid of making
it even more tough for their kids and don't want to push their kids who have a disability or any sort of issue like that.
PERLMAN: I had no free ticket when it came to practicing. It wasn't like, oh, well, you can't practice, you know, because you can't walk. No,
absolutely not. You know, you've got to practice and that's it, you know. And then -- and, of course, this is not unusual. If you tell me that there
is a young kid who just adores practicing, I would tell you there's something wrong with that kid.
You know, because it's -- and especially, when you play the violin, it's very -- you are alone. You know, it's like you're -- you know, there's
nobody around you. You've got to do it.
AMANPOUR: But, you know, at a very young age, at 13, barely a teenager going into adolescence, you came to New York and went to the famous
Juilliard School. What was --
AMANPOUR: What was that like? You didn't even speak English when you hopped off that plane and, you know, went to practice and become the
maestro that you are today. And then at 18, you you're your debut at Carnegie Hall. All this was very rapid for such a massive progression of
your career to the heights.
PERLMAN: Well, the thing is that when I came to the States, what you forgot to mention, is that I came to appear on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
PERLMAN: That was the reason that I came to the States. And then, it was Juilliard because that was something that I wanted to do.
But between the age of 13 and 18, there was like five years where I was really going to school, I was practicing, and so on. And then at 18, I won
this competition and that's where everything started to work for me.
AMANPOUR: We're going to play a little bit of that Ed Sullivan Show debut.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED SULLIVAN: (INAUDIBLE) said that he's going to be one of the great violin virtuosos of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So when you look back at the Ed Sullivan appearance or even the Carnegie debut when you were 18, how do you critique yourself today? I
mean do you recognize how good you were?
PERLMAN: It's very funny. Well, I don't know.
I mean, I had a lot of support as far as my playing was concerned, and I did not really say to myself, gee, I'm really good. I just said I'm going
to do the best that I can and the best of my ability.
If that's good enough, then things are going to proceed for me. And that's what happened, you know.
It's not a question of judging yourself all the time. You know, you have to really know when to just, like, put, you know, things around your eyes
and just look forward.
AMANPOUR: Yes. So, the blinkers put them on like a racehorse.
PERLMAN: Put the blinkers on, absolutely.
AMANPOUR: I just want to ask you this, because one of your Juilliard teachers, her name was Dorothy Delay, said that she first really loved you
as a boy and as a player when you first played for her. She described you as an angry young boy playing. Do you recall that?
PERLMAN: Well, I was not very happy, let's put it that way. I mean just think about it.
I just left Israel. I left all my friends. I left as a seventh grade, all my friends there.
I came to the states with my mother, so I left my father there to finish up so that he would join us a year later. So I was not very happy.
And she came in like the first couple of weeks that I was in the states. And then she said -- before, I didn't speak any English.
I learned my English from watching T.V. which I loved because there was nothing in Israel. There was no T.V. in Israel at that time.
So I was kind of -- I don't know whether I was angry, but I was not too happy. And I thought it was a pain in the neck just to play for anybody.
The only nice thing -- the exciting thing was to be on the Sullivan Show for me. But then afterwards, it was a little bit of a drudgery.
AMANPOUR: And how long did that last? I mean it's not a drudgery now, is it?
PERLMAN: No, it's wonderful. Well, listen, it's been a few years.
AMANPOUR: How important do you think arts are for young people growing up?
PERLMAN: They are the most important things. Arts, you know, arts, music, culture is a part of our society.
And if you don't have the exposure to that, you're just less of a person, as far as I'm concerned. You know, for me, the ability for somebody to go
to a museum or to go to a concert hall or to go to an opera house and actually enjoy what's going on there is just indescribable.
You've got to do this. And unfortunately, some people don't feel that it's as important as it really is. It's the soul of our society.
And to start from an early age to get the kids comfortable with music and with arts and music specifically, because that's my field, is so important.
And it makes a difference for the rest of your life so you don't have to say, oh, who is that orchestra? I don't know anything about that.
You don't want to do that. You want to say, I love to listen to Brahms. I love to listen to Vivaldi. I love to listen to Mozart.
It's like as important as taking history on math and science in school. So important that it's in the school that the appreciation of arts starts and
in the house, at the home as well.
AMANPOUR: What is your very favorite thing? I mean do you like playing? Do you like conducting better? And if you have a favorite child, like a
favorite piece of music?
PERLMAN: Well, I have a lot of -- I'm able -- and I think that I'm kind of lucky -- I'm able to actually cry when I listen to certain kinds of music.
We call it the goose bump moments where you hear something and you just -- it just grabs you. So I can do that.
And, of course, my musical activities are three of them, basically. It's playing the violin, conducting, and teaching.
And the thing about teaching, which is so important, is that -- and I always tell my students that they should never miss an opportunity to
teach. I always repeat this.
Everybody has heard me say that hundreds of times. Don't miss an opportunity to teach, because when you teach others, you teach yourself.
And, you know, when I do this master class that I just -- that is just going to be out, that's what I try to talk about. How do you feel about
what you're doing musically and your reaction to the music?
AMANPOUR: And we're going to play a little clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERLMAN: When I'm playing, if I don't feel something in the music, nothing is going to happen. When you connect with the music, that connection will
radiate the audience. I'm going to bring some of my students to sit in and to have a discussion.
Is there a difference between being intense and being passionate? If you can feel my enthusiasm, the class has accomplished a lot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I want to talk politics at the end of this. You have quit, you have stopped doing some concerts because of the politics involved.
You dropped out of the North Carolina concert because of the Hb2 law and that's the one that limits civil rights protections for the LGBTQ
I want to play a little clip of the great cellist Rostropovich who played by the Berlin Wall as it was coming down all those years ago, in 1989 and
then I want to ask you a question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean that was a great moment. It was a political moment but it was a moment of hope. Do you remember seeing that?
PERLMAN: I did not see it, but I was actually in Germany at the time that the wall was coming down, and I played actually in the east part of Berlin.
We did a little something. So I remember those times very well.
AMANPOUR: And I wonder, walls are making a comeback. I mean, there's the obvious problem with the border between the United States and Mexico, and
then there's your own home country, the wall between Israel and Palestine.
Would you ever do that today? I mean is that the kind of political activism that you think might have an effect? Would you go to that wall and play?
PERLMAN: I have not thought about any political activity. I just want to do what I do in music and so on.
So this never occurred to me and so I can't answer your question because it just did not occur. It has -- the situation has to be right. And so far -
- you know, would you do it? I was never asked.
So, anyway, I try to really stay away from politics unless I strongly believe -- the situation in Israel is very, very complicated, extremely
complicated. I'm just watching it.
And I'm just hoping like everybody else that things will get better. All I can do is hope.
AMANPOUR: On a different note but in your personal life, you have had a huge amount of hope and you have had a huge amount of triumph over the
knocks that life has given you. Amongst them, you have a 50-year-plus marriage to Toby, your wife. So what is the secret of a life and a love
that long that lasts so long?
PERLMAN: Well, loving each other, obviously. Being on the same page with each other. So that -- for example, when we listen to a piece of music,
and I'm giving music as an example, because let's face it, you know, we met in a music camp and so.
She played the violin, she's a violinist, and so did I. So the ability to start something, a phrase, for you to start a phrase and for your spouse to
finish it, to be on the same page.
It's like, you know, we're thinking the same way. So that's one of the things that is helpful.
And, of course, thinking about the importance -- the moral -- what's moral in life, like in family. We're blessed to have 5 children and so far 12
grandchildren and so on. So that's it.
You know, I just feel that we're very, very lucky to have such a wonderful, wonderful relationship in such a long time.
AMANPOUR: I think a lot of people would agree with you. So congratulations on everything. Itzhak Perlman, thank you for joining me.
PERLMAN: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: We turn now to our next guest who's helping to facilitate the all-important arts that Perlman is talking about. Liz Diller is an award-
winning architect and she's co-founder of Diller Scofidio and Renfro. Her studio is behind some of the world's most iconic building projects,
including The High Line in New York and the ongoing renovation of The Museum of Modern Art.
She' spoke to our Hari Sreenivasan about her latest project known as "The Shed." It's a public art center and colossal work of engineering with a
whole section that can be moved around on wheels.
HARI SREENIVASAN, ANCHOR, PBS NEWSHOUR: Elizabeth Diller, thanks for joining us. First, let's talk about your most recent piece, The Shed, in
New York City. What is it?
ELIZABETH DILLER, CO-FOUNDER, DILLER SCOFIDIO and RENFRO: The Shed is a brand new cultural institution, that shows the visual and performing arts
under one roof and it's all new commission programming. It sits on Hudson Yards adjacent to The High Line.
SREENIVASAN: So did you come up with this idea?
DILLER: So the idea sprang from a request for proposals from the city and it was in 2008, it was when the economy was tanking and it was really
improbable to imagine a new cultural facility in New York. And so we thought, "Well, what does New York need that it actually doesn't have?"
And the answer is some place that actually houses all of the creative disciplines in one place, that's purpose built for flexibility and that's
design for the future that we can't imagine. The building has some unusual features.
SREENIVASAN: Yes. So tell us a little bit about those features.
DILLER: So the main organization of the building is it's a fixed structure with multiple levels of which three are very tall floors for galleries and
performing arts spaces, that is a theater and two galleries that are stacked. And on top of the fix building there is a telescoping outer shell
that basically slides out onto an open space to the east. And when it does so it encloses and shelters a very, very large space that can be heated and
cooled, it can be an interior space. In fact, doubling the original footprint.
So we're able to put on very large installations, very large theatrical productions, all sorts of events. And when we don't need those events, we
don't have to heat or cool the space, we simply roll it back, nested back on the fixed building and it's quite modest and it opens up a big public
space right next to it that could also be used for cultural programming.
SREENIVASAN: What's structurally difficult about designing something like that?
DILLER: Well, it's hard to move an 8 million pound building, so we worked with a team of engineers and actually the structural principle is very,
very simple. It's based on crane technology that you see at shipping ports and it's an industrial system that basically runs on steel tracks with
steel wheels and the motors are at the very top of the building and it's just a rack and pinion system which has mechanical advantage.
So when it moves, the movement is silent. It takes only five-minutes to open and/or close the building and it runs on a horsepower of one Prius
SREENIVASAN: You can move an 8 million pound building with a tiny Toyota Prius engine or the equivalent of?
DILLER: Yes, exactly.
DILLER: From an engineering standpoint, it's extremely smart, sustainable, quiet and operationally very, very easy to do.
SREENIVASAN: It's also adjacent to The High Line, which is for people who don't know the conversion of an elevated rail track, into a walkway, into a
park, into a public space. Now, you're also behind that. How does that connect to The Shed?
DILLER: We made up an urban park out of it and it's been really quite the rage, so very, very popular in New York. There's been a viral effect all
over the world. There are high lines all over the place and it's led to a tremendous amount of transformation in what we call the far Westside
Chelsea and Meatpacking District.
And this transformation ultimately also incorporated the rail yards, which had previously not been built on. So the opportunity to do The Shed is
directly linked to the success of The High Line and that whole transformation of the Westside.
SREENIVASAN: Why do you think people are connected to it? I mean especially with these spin-offs around the world, what is it about walking
just this other elevation that connects with people?
DILLER: I think there are multiple things, one is that you're walking 25 feet off the ground and you can walk for a mile and a half without stopping
for a light or a car to go by, so you have this wonderful promenade. You also see New York in a very different way, not the postcard views, not the
very polished beautiful things and typical sights.
You see a kind of subconscious of New York. It was never really meant to be seen. You see these chimney stacks. You see alleys. You see solid
brick buildings. You see laundry drape from people's windows. It's just a different side of New York that we don't typically see.
But I think that there's one thing that people maybe don't think about, but that really resonates with me about The High Line. Basically you can only
do two things; you can you can walk and you can sit.
So basically it's a place for doing nothing and in a city where everybody is productive all of the time, whether they're working or working out,
burning calories or shopping or on their devices, they're always doing something.
And The High Line gives you a kind of license to really do nothing and take that kind of parenthetical moment in the day and just be there and look at
other people and just hang out.
SREENIVASAN: I mean in a way that's not necessarily that when you look at your body of work, you don't design that many spaces for doing nothing,
you're also doing a lot of spaces that have a function in mind when you're crafting them. So is there a through line if we look back through all of
your work? Is there a connective tissue?
DILLER: I think that there are several strands maybe. One is a preoccupation with vision and the culture of vision, which incorporates all
sorts of things like spectatorship and exhibitionism and voyeurism and just interest in optics and a kind of preoccupation and a kind of critique maybe
with a preoccupation of vision as a master sense. So that's one of the through lines.
Another one is a kind of desire to democratize space, an interest in publicness, and even on private property to always carve out space. And as
our cities are getting progressively privatized, architects really have to be on the warpath here to protect space and make sure there's enough for
SREENIVASAN: You're also part of a couple of projects in Hudson Yards, it's a multibillion-dollar endeavor. The concern has been some of these
types of projects are serving to make neighborhoods more elite. How does that square with what you're just saying is your interest in trying to make
sure that there are public spaces preserved?
DILLER: Yes. I think that the city was very, very smart in organizing the open space and making sure that there was enough open space, public space
open to the sky on Hudson Yards because it was privately developed. And they were extra smart in identifying that parcel that would always belong
to the city on which The Shed stands.
So that is while it's physically within the four corner of Hudson Yards, it's actually New York City property and will always be, that's the first
thing. Before any design takes place, it's just making sure that that's protected for public and cultural use.
SREENIVASAN: I also wanted to ask you about the project you just finished up in Moscow, what was the intent? What was the outcome?
DILLER: So Zaryadye Park was a competition, an international competition that we won and this was the time of Edward Snowden and the relationship
between the U.S. and Russia was already - it's quite complicated. People told us to not compete, not even bother because an American had no chance
of winning this competition.
And we had our doubts about the government and whether we wanted to step a foot in Russia and convinced ourselves that this is a project for the city
of Moscow. So it's a 35-acre park that sits right next to the Kremlin. It's basically Moscow's equivalent to our Central Park and it was the first
time the site was liberated.
Before that the hotel Rossiya stood there and it was a Soviet-era hotel with 3,000 rooms, really crazy huge footprint of a building. And when they
raised it, the first idea was to develop it commercially and then they decided that was not a good idea that a park should be there.
So they were very inspired by The High Line and I think that was the reason for our invitation to participate in the competition. So now the park is
open for about a year and a half and the brief says don't make a space where people could collect and it was very, very clearly avoiding any kind
DILLER: Yes. And parks in Russia and particularly Moscow were all very formal axial and there are certain kinds of plants that are allowable and
usually very, very formal gardens.
So our idea was to actually make a place for people to collect. We called it wild urbanism and we thought about it as a place where, and similar to
The High Line, where the paving system and the vegetation are intertwined in different ways.
This project was so embraced by the Muscovites. It was in the first month, a million people came and it's one of the great attractions right now. And
I think we got away with murder here. We made a place that was truly progressive in a government that may not have really understood entirely,
but we had a great ally with the city architect.
SREENIVASAN: You had an exhibit where there was a building on a lake and you essentially had this giant fog machine, but the fog itself was what
people were interacting with. Tell me about that.
DILLER: Yes. So our studio in, I believe, 2002 for the Swiss expo, we decided to make a structure that was inhabitable, that was out in the lake
structure there, that was a huge fog, a cloud of fog that you walked through.
There's 500-foot long bridge that brought you there and then you found yourself on something the size of a football field with no walls just a
couple of platforms with four columns that went down into the lake bed.
But you were immersed in this mist and you really couldn't see more than three feet ahead of you. It was called the blur building.
It became such a hit and in Switzerland they required every student to go visit it. And because it was amorphous and you couldn't quite see, you
could hear this kind of hissing of the sand 35,000 fog nozzles and you were immersed in it and you could walk in any direction but it came to represent
this certain notion of Swiss doubt which I thought was really, really phenomenal.
SREENIVASAN: Being in Switzerland, being in the middle of --
DILLER: Being in the middle of and not knowing politically what you wanted to do, EU or not EU (inaudible), what country are you with, what language
do you speak and it was just a super interesting way of penetrating a country.
SREENIVASAN: You have been teaching at Princeton for decades and I wonder if in that time, you've seen batches of student year after year, is there a
gap between the number of women that enter the profession and the number of women who either stick with it, because it seems a male-dominated industry
at the end result regardless of who's coming in to your classroom.
DILLER: Yes. Well, it is very male-dominated and when you think about it from a cultural perspective, the association you would make with an
architect is a white male heroic figure. I mean typically that's the very successful architects of the past have sort of fallen into a certain type.
Today, people work very, very differently. There are many collaboratives. I work in a collaboration with three men and one is gay, one is black, one
is my husband and what is white, the unusual white guy in a team with a woman. Three minorities essentially.
And so people work very, very differently today. In terms of women, my classes are 50% female. There's an absolute gender balance in academia, no
different than many other fields. But there's something that happens, that gap.
So women come into the workplace, there's a disparity I think in salaries still and then as women progress, some have families and need to take time
off, some officers are not that generous about giving women time off. We have maternity and paternity leave and we've always done it that way. And
we encourage women to slowly come back to the workplace.
But still even in our studio, there's not a balance, it's not the way it is in the academic context. And I think we have to just think about it a lot
and try to figure out what's really long care. A lot of people in architecture are men and women, have to dedicate tremendous hours to it.
It's a very, very hard profession. It's not one that you can just leave at five o'clock and then forget about it until nine o'clock the next morning.
SREENIVASAN: Yes. Is there a movement in the industry to address this, do you think?
DILLER: I think many firms are thinking about it.
SREENIVASAN: I mean your firm might be one because there is a woman at the leader - as you said three minorities in a way are running the firm, but
that's not necessarily the case with most successful architecture firms.
DILLER: That's exactly right. I think role models are very, very important. Seeing that other women have succeeded and some women who
really just sort of cracked that glass ceiling and make it and really transform that image of that singular figure, that singular voice. It's
strange because you think that we've gotten over that by now, but no, not quite.
SREENIVASAN: Liz Diller, thanks so much for joining us.
DILLER: Thank you. Great to be here.
AMANPOUR: That is it for now. Thanks for watching this special edition.
Remember, you can always listen to our podcast and see us online at amanpour.com. And you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter.
Goodbye from London.