". . . musical maturity, secure technique and purity of tone" (Gramophone)
Gil Shaham was born in Illinois, USA, in 1971, and grew up in Israel and the USA. At the age of seven, he received his first violin lessons from Samuel Bernstein at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. In 1980 he played for the great violin virtuosos Isaac Stern, Nathan Milstein, and Henryk Szeryng; in the same year he attended the Aspen Music School in Colorado, studying with Dorothy DeLay and Jens Ellerman. Gil Shaham began concertizing at an early age and gave his highly acclaimed début at the age of ten as soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Schneider. Less than one year later he performed with the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. In 1982 he won first prize in the Claremont Competition and was admitted to the Juilliard School in New York as a pupil of Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang.
First time in Europe when he gives a sensational performance at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.
Becomes an exclusive artist of Deutsche Grammophon.
1988 / 89
Creates a sensation when he steps in at short notice for Itzhak Perlman in a concert with the London Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas, performing concertos by Bruch and Sibelius. Since then he has appeared with most of the world’s leading orchestras and with conductors including Sir André Previn, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Neeme Järvi, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, Mariss Jansons, Zdenek Macal, Ingo Metzmacher, Seiji Ozawa, Wolfgang Sawallisch, John Williams, Hugh Wolff, and David Zinman, as well as at festivals including Ravinia, Aspen, Tanglewood, and Lucerne.
Begins studies at Columbia University in New York. Deutsche Grammophon release of a recital CD (with Rohan de Silva), and concertos by Mendelssohn and Bruch with Sinopoli and the Philharmonia Orchestra (CD Compact Prize, Barcelona, 1990).
London recital début at the Wigmore Hall. Awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Release of Paganini and Saint-Saëns concertos with Sinopoli and the New York Philharmonic, and of the two Wieniawski concertos coupled with Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, with Lawrence Foster conducting the London Symphony Orchestra.
Carnegie Hall début. Awarded the Premio Internazionale of the Accademia Chigiana in Siena.
Released this year: the Sibelius and Tchaikovsky concertos, with Sinopoli conducting the Philharmonia, and Paganini for Two with guitarist Göran Söllscher.
CD release of the Barber and Korngold concertos, with André Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra (Cannes Classical Award 1995); and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, coupled with Kreisler’s Concerto in the Style of Vivaldi, with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Tours Japan with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and gives recitals in Italy.
Released this year: the two Prokofiev Violin Concertos and solo Sonata, with Previn and the LSO (Gran Premio del Disco "Ritmo", Madrid, Grand Prix de la Nouvelle Académie 1996); Romances by Elgar, Kreisler, Svendsen, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Sarasate, and Dvořák, with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
CD release of concertos by Glazunov and Kabalevsky and works by Tchaikovsky, with Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra; Dvořák for Two with his sister, pianist Orli Shaham (Grand Prix du Disque 1997), and Fiddler of the Opera, great melodies from the world of opera, with pianist Akira Eguchi.
Release of recital album American Scenes, music by André Previn, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, and Samuel Barber, with Previn at the piano (Grammy Award 1999).
Salzburg Festival début performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto under the direction of Zubin Mehta. Released this year: Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and the two Rhapsodies, with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and works by Arvo Pärt, with Shaham’s wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and Göteborgs Symfoniker conducted by Neeme Järvi.
2000 / 01
Appearances include concerts with the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and St. Louis Symphony, as well as in Boston at Symphony Hall’s centennial gala, and in Los Angeles in a concert honouring Isaac Stern; also appears in three concerts with the International Sejong Soloists, and in recital with Orli Shaham. CD releases this year include Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, with cellist Jian Wang, clarinettist Paul Meyer and pianist Myung-Whun Chung; Devil’s Dance, music by Saint-Saëns, Tartini, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Grieg, Sarasate, Korngold, Ysaÿe, Antonio Bazzini, John Morris, William Bolcom, and John Williams, with pianist Jonathan Feldman.
His summer schedule features festival appearances including Aspen and Ravinia; performances with the Gustav Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and the Philharmonia Orchestra; and concerts in Australia with the Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide Symphony orchestras. CD release of works by John Williams, including the Violin Concerto, pieces from the score of the film Schindler’s List and TreeSong.
CD releases this year: Brahms’s Violin Concerto and Double Concerto, with cellist Jian Wang and Claudio Abbado conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker – to coincide with this year’s prestigious Europe Concert (held in Palermo on 1 May), where Shaham plays the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Abbado
Release of the CD Schubert for Two, music for violin and guitar with Shaham joined again by Göran Söllscher.
Gil Shaham performs on a 1699 Stradivarius.