A consummate musician recognized for her grace, subtlety and vitality, Orli Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as one of today's most gifted pianists. Hailed by critics on four continents, Ms. Shaham is in demand for her prodigious skills and admired for her interpretations of both standard and modern repertoire. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently praised her "wit, passion, delicacy and humor" in a performance with the St. Louis Symphony, and London's Guardian said Ms. Shaham's playing was "perfection" during her recent Proms debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Orli Shaham has performed with the Boston, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego and Utah Symphonies, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic, Bilbao Symphony, Orchestra della Toscana, Orchestre National de Lyon, Taiwan Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Malaysian Philharmonic. A frequent guest at summer festivals, she has performed at Tanglewood, Ravinia, Verbier, Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Caramoor, Spoleto, Bravo Vail and Music Academy of the West.
Ms. Shaham has given recitals in North America, Europe and Asia at such renowned concert halls as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Frankfurt's Alte Oper, and the Herkulessaal in Munich, and has worked with many eminent conductors including Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Roger Norrington, Christopher Hogwood, David Robertson, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano and Gerard Schwarz, among others.
Highlights of Orli Shaham's international performance schedule in 2011-2012 include the world premiere of a piano concerto written for her by the acclaimed American composer Steven Mackey, with the St. Louis Symphony conducted by David Robertson. Subsequent performances of the concerto are with LA Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony and Sydney Symphony. Orli Shaham's 2011-2012 season also includes a return engagement with the Seattle Symphony in which Ms. Shaham performs Mozart's Concerto K. 466 conducted by David Robertson. Ms. Shaham continues her role as curator and performer in the Pacific Symphony's chamber music series in Costa Mesa, California. And this season, Ms. Shaham begins a new role as host of the public radio series America's Music Festivals, a two-hour weekly program broadcast on more than 100 stations.
Orli Shaham's highly acclaimed (Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, NPR.org) classical concert series for young children, Baby Got Bach, is in its second season. The popular series continues in New York City and has expanded to more venues both in New York and at other locations around the US. For preschoolers, Baby Got Bach provides hands-on activities with musical instruments, and concepts and concert performances that promote good listening skills.
The 2011-2012 season adds three new recordings to Orli Shaham's discography. In Fall 2011, Ms. Shaham releases a CD of Hebrew Melodies (Canary Classics), recorded with her brother, the violinist Gil Shaham. The Shahams and the 92nd Street Y have commissioned Israeli-American composer Avner Dorman to write a new work for the duo, which is featured on the recording. Another forthcoming CD release in the 2011-2012 season is Ms. Shaham's recording of the Brahms Horn Trio and Schubert's lied Auf dem Strom (Albany) featuring the acclaimed principal French hornist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Richard King. The pianist Jon Kimura Parker joined forces with Ms. Shaham and the San Diego Symphony to record Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals (San Diego Symphony), a recording which will also be released in the 2011-2012 season.
Ms. Shaham's recent highlights include her Proms debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall, her debut with the Malaysian Philharmonic led by Claus Petr Flor and a special appearance at New York's Carnegie Hall where she performed Brahms F minor piano sonata and the F-A-E Sonata with violinist Gil Shaham. Her performance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra was praised by critic Matthew Guerrieri: "Orli Shaham gave a superb account of the solo piano part, with deep color and fine details." The Tennessean wrote of Ms. Shaham's performance with the Nashville Symphony: "The emotional truth of her artistry is balanced with strong technical abilities," and the Winnipeg Free Press declared Ms. Shaham's piano skills "almost too good to be true." Orli Shaham has returned to Australia again and again in recent seasons, where she has performed a wide variety of composers, including Mozart which she conducts from the keyboard.
Driven by a passion to bring classical music to new audiences, Orli Shaham maintains an active parallel career as a respected broadcaster, music writer and lecturer. In 2005, she began a collaboration with Classical Public Radio Network as the host of "Dial-a-Musician," a feature she created especially for the radio network. The concept of the program was to enhance listeners' experiences of music and musicians. During the feature she directed listeners' questions about classical music to fellow musicians -by literally dialing them up for the correct answer. Her program hosted over 60 guests including composer John Adams, pianists Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, Emerson String Quartet violinist Philip Setzer and cellist David Finckel, and sopranos Natalie Dessay and Christine Brewer. Orli Shaham has taught music literature at Columbia University, and contributed articles to Piano Today, Symphony and Playbill magazines and NPR's Deceptive Cadence blog. Ms. Shaham has served as artist in residence on National Public Radio's Performance Today.
In addition to the forthcoming CD of Jewish music, Orli Shaham and her older brother Gil have collaborated on several recordings including a Deutsche Grammophon recording entitled Dvorák for Two, and an all-Prokofiev disc The Prokofiev Album on Canary Classics, ("As fine a recording of the violin and piano music of Prokofiev as has ever been made by one of the finest violinist and pianist teams of the last ten years." Barnes&Noble.com). Their recent recording, Mozart in Paris, features Mozart Violin Sonatas, Opus 1 and is available on CD from Canary Classics and as a Euroarts DVD. When performing this recorded repertoire live, critics have praised the glorious "sibling revelry" (The Plain Dealer)--musical chemistry, nourished by shared family history and a comfortable give-and-take.
Orli Shaham was recognized early for her prodigious talents. She received her first scholarship for musical study from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation at age five to study with Luisa Yoffe at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. By age seven, she traveled to New York with her family to begin study with Nancy Stessin, and became a scholarship student of Herbert Stessin at The Juilliard School a year later. She has also won the Gilmore Young Artist Award and the Avery Fisher Career Grant, two prestigious prizes given to further the development of outstanding talent. In addition to her musical education, Orli Shaham holds a degree in history from Columbia University. Orli Shaham lives in New York and St. Louis with her husband, conductor David Robertson, college-age stepsons Peter and Jonathan, and pre-school twins Nathan and Alex.