“In a world full of outstanding violinists, Shaham is one of the few identifiable by sound and style alone.”
“A virtuoso and a player of deeply intense sincerity…. One of today’s pre-eminent violinists.”
The New York Times
“…among the most inspired violinists of his generation.”
“Shaham’s mastery has only grown more profound…”
The San Francisco Chronicle
“Shaham delivered it like a whirling dervish, with an array of exotic colours that embraced this long concerto’s sweetness, its inwardness and folkloric bravura.”
The Financial Times
“Shaham played the Brahms Violin Concerto, fueled by the sort of energy and passion that lifts a performance far above the notes on the page…wholly unexpected, ravishing playing.”
“Gil Shaham delivered the finest performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto I’ve ever experienced.”
The Denver Post
“With guest conductor Pablo Heras-Casado on the podium, Shaham gave a performance of [Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the New World Symphony] the 1938 concerto that expressed all of its breadth, from its Romantic melodies to its modernistic rhythms and sizzling virtuosity…He powered through the runs and chords of one of the most difficult concertos in the repertory with astonishing speed and accuracy, while giving these passages an electric energy.”
South Florida Classical Review
“Shaham’s tone is clear and sweet, and he plays with quiet but unmistakable ardor. There is a seamless flow to his performance, a sense of propulsion fueled by both thoughtful concentration and a willingness to let the music take flight.”
The Chicago Sun-Times
“nothing is unplayable for Gil Shaham. His technique is flawless, his understanding is deep, and his physical movements–sometimes resembling a restaurant fiddler as he sashays from one side of the stage to the other…”
Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time; his flawless technique combined with his inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit has solidified his renown as an American master. The Grammy Award-winner, also named Musical America’s “Instrumentalist of the Year,” is sought after throughout the world for concerto appearances with leading orchestras and conductors, and 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 addition to championing these solo works, he frequently joins his long-time duo partner pianist, Akira Eguchi in recitals throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
Appearances with orchestra 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, Mr. Shaham continues his exploration of “Violin Concertos of the 1930s,” including the works of Barber, Bartok, Berg, Korngold, Prokofiev, among many others.
Mr. Shaham has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name, 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 recording 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 and also nominated for a GRAMMY.
Mr. Shaham was 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 the age of 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.
Gil Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and in 2008 he received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. In 2012, he was named “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America. He plays the 1699 “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius and performs on an Antonio Stradivari violin, Cremona c1719, 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.