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GIL SHAHAM

Although born in America, Gil Shaham moved with his family to Jerusalem when he was very young. Here he began violin lessons at the age of seven with Samuel Bernstein at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem and in 1980, aged nine, he played for Isaac Stern, Nathan Milstein and Henryk Szeryng. He also attended the Aspen Music School in Colorado, studying with Dorothy DeLay and Jens Ellerman. Shaham soon became a promising young soloist and, as can be judged by his already extensive discography (mainly of established solo and chamber repertoire from the eighteenth century to the present day), he has become a significant recording artist.

He performs regularly throughout Europe, Japan and the USA and has also appeared at the Ravinia, Aspen, Tanglewood, Schleswig-Holstein and Lucerne festivals, among others.

Shaham recorded exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon from 1987 until 2002, after which he founded his own label, Canary Classics. Several of his discs have received awards, including a Grammy® nomination for his Sibelius and Tchaikovsky concertos, and a 1996 Prix de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque for the two Prokofiev concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra under André Previn.

Shaham’s recordings reveal a lively but otherwise conventional artistry, albeit to very high technical standards in terms of both left-hand agility and tone production. The 2004 Prokofiev Sonata (with his sister, Orli) and Tchaikovsky Concerto recordings here are perhaps the most distinguished in this small representative selection, revealing a powerful tone, a good deal of brightness and well-connected phrasing. The Elgar Concerto (live, 2007) is free from unnecessary mannerisms and the slow movement is mercifully brisk (avoiding the recent tendency towards performing Elgar with maudlin steadiness!). Shaham’s warmth and charm here show an affinity with a work that, for all its fame in the UK, is still relatively little played elsewhere. Haydn’s Concerto, Hob.VIIa No. 1 (2010) is clean and distinguished, although the slow movement is a little soporific, showing the modern concept of elevating tonal beauty above pursuit of shape and rhetoric. Fauré’s Op. 13 Sonata (2003) strays rather too much into virtuoso territory (a little more charm would be welcome) but is nonetheless a well-balanced and faithful reading of this relatively early work.

In an age of superlative performers with a relatively unified approach to style, Shaham’s playing is not perhaps the most distinctive but, on the evidence of these performances, few can doubt his credentials as a violinist of international repute.

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Milsom (A–Z of String Players, Naxos 8.558081-84)

Role: Classical Artist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BERLIN PHILHARMONIC: New Year's Gala - A Tribute to Carmen (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
100027
Classical Concert
BERLIN PHILHARMONIC: New Year's Gala - A Tribute to Carmen (PAL) Arthaus Musik
100026
Classical Concert
BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER - 125 YEARS EuroArts
2000068
Classical Concert
DISCOVERING MASTERPIECES - BRAHMS: Violin Concerto (NTSC) EuroArts
2056078
Classical Concert
DISCOVERING MASTERPIECES - Romantic Masterpieces (NTSC) EuroArts
2057358
Classical Concert
DISCOVERING MASTERPIECES OF CLASSICAL MUSIC (5 DVD Box Set) (NTSC) EuroArts
2058228
Classical Concert
ESSENTIAL MOZART (THE) (NTSC) EuroArts
2057278
Classical Concert
EUROPA-KONZERT 2002 - BRAHMS, J.: Violin Concerto / DVORAK, A.: Symphony No. 9, "From a New World" (Shaham, Abbado) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) EuroArts
2051954
Classical Concert
EUROPA-KONZERT 2002 - BRAHMS, J.: Violin Concerto / DVORAK, A.: Symphony No. 9, "From a New World" (Shaham, Abbado) (NTSC) EuroArts
2051958
Classical Concert
EUROPA-KONZERT 2002 FROM PALERMO (PAL) TDKDVD
DV-EUC02
Classical Concert
ISRAEL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA 60TH ANNIVERSARY GALA CONCERT (Blu-ray, Full-HD) EuroArts
2012744
Classical Concert
ISRAEL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA ANNIVERSARY BOX (7-DVD Box Set) (NTSC) EuroArts
2059458
Classical Concert
LISTEN WITH YOUR EYES - Sampler 2007 (NTSC) EuroArts
2020078
Samplers
LISTEN WITH YOUR EYES - Sampler 2007 (US version) (NTSC) EuroArts
2020076
Samplers
MOZART, W.A.: 6 Violin Sonatas, K. 301-306 (NTSC) EuroArts
2055188
Classical Concert
MOZART: GREATEST HITS (NTSC) EuroArts
2010005
Classical Concert





 
 
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