In the early sixties Norman Perryman spent many hours at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland sketching great musicians such as cellist Paul Tortelier, pianist Wilhelm Kempff, the legendary sitar-player Ravi Shankar, and of course Yehudi Menuhin himself and his pianist sisters Hephzibah and Yaltah Menuhin. Later, the list came to include the youthful violinist Nigel Kennedy, pianist Melvyn Tan and cellist Colin Carr, then all students at the Menuhin School. In 1975 he painted the great French cellist Pierre Fournier.
When the splendid new Symphony Hall was built in 1991 in Birmingham, England, Perryman was commissioned by the Director (Andrew Jowett) to create a collection of large watercolours (unframed 32 x 22 inches or 84 x 56cm) of the great personalities booked to perform there. In ten years this unique collection grew to over twenty-five paintings and now includes conductors Riccardo Chailly, Valery Gergiev, Carlo Maria Giulini, Bernard Haitink, Alexander Lazarev, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Sakari Oramo, Simon Rattle and Klaus Tennstedt; violinists Sarah Chang, Kyung-Wha Chung, Yehudi Menuhin, Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zuckerman; cellists Yo-Yo Ma, Mstislav Rostropovich and Paul Tortelier; pianists Vladimir Ashkenazy and Alfred Brendel; Thomas Allen (baritone), Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo soprano), José Carreras (tenor), Kiri Te Kanawa (soprano), Jessye Norman (soprano), and Luciano Pavarotti (tenor); and Evelyn Glennie (percussion).
More recent paintings currently in the artist’s own collection include conductors Georg Solti (1912 -1997), Yakov Kreizberg (1959 - 2011) and Leonard Slatkin; violinist Julia Fischer.