Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of his time; his flawless technique and his inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit have solidified his acclaim as an American master. The Grammy Award winner, also named Musical America’s 2012 Instrumentalist of the Year, is sought after throughout the world for concerto appearances with leading orchestras and conductors. He regularly gives recitals and appears with ensembles on the world’s great concert stages and at the most prestigious festivals.
Highlights of recent years include the acclaimed recording and performances of J.S. Bach’s complete sonatas and partitas for solo violin. In the coming seasons, in addition to championing these solo works, he will join his longtime duo partner pianist, Akira Eguchi, in recitals throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
Appearances with orchestras regularly include the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and San Francisco Symphony, as well as multi-year residencies with the orchestras of Montreal, Stuttgart and Singapore. With orchestra, Shaham continues his exploration of violin concertos of the 1930s, including the works of Barber, Bartok, Berg, Korngold and Prokofiev, among many others.
Shaham has recorded more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs, earning multiple Grammys, a Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d’Or and Gramophone Editor’s Choice. Many of these recordings appear on Canary Classics, the label he founded in 2004. His CDs include “1930s Violin Concertos,” “Virtuoso Violin Works,” Elgar’s Violin Concerto, “Hebrew Melodies,” “The Butterfly Lovers” and many more. His most recent release in the series “1930s Violin Concertos, Vol. 2,” including Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto and Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2, was nominated for a Grammy Award. His latest recording of Beethoven and Brahms concertos with the Knights was released in 2021.
Born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1971, he moved with his parents to Israel, where he began violin studies with Samuel Bernstein of the Rubin Academy of Music at age 7, receiving annual scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. In 1981, he made debuts with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic, and the following year, took the first prize in Israel’s Claremont Competition. He then became a scholarship student at Juilliard and also studied at Columbia University.
Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and in 2008, he received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. He plays the 1699 “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius and performs on an Antonio Stradivari violin, Cremona c. 1719, with the assistance of Rare Violins in Consortium, Artists and Benefactors Collaborative. He lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and their three children.
Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.