Gil Shaham was born in 1971 in Illinois and grew up in Israel, where he studied at the Rubin Academy of Music. He made his debut at age ten with the Jerusalem Symphony and Israel Philharmonic, and he studied with Dorothy DeLay, first at Aspen and later at Juilliard. Mr. Shaham made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1990 as a Shenson Young Artist and has returned often, most recently in June 2013.
This season sees Mr. Shaham perform Korngold’s Violin Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, the Cleveland Orchestra in Miami, the Houston, National, Saint Louis, and Austin symphonies, and the Orchestre de Paris. In recent seasons, Mr. Shaham has explored violin concertos of the 1930s; in 2013-14 he will perform concertos of Bartók with the Los Angeles and Atlanta symphonies, Barber with the Louisiana Philharmonic and Mexico National Symphony, and Berg with the Berlin Radio Symphony and the Bavarian Radio Symphony in Munich, Paris, and at Carnegie Hall. His other upcoming orchestral collaborations include dates with John Williams at the Chicago Symphony. Mr. Shaham performs Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin in recitals in Baltimore, Cleveland, Florence, and Rome. With the Detroit, Singapore, and BBC symphonies, Mr. Shaham gives the world, Asian, and European premieres of a new concerto by Bright Sheng. Other recent commissions include works by William Bolcom, Avner Dorman, and Julian Milone.
Mr. Shaham has recorded more than two dozen CDs, earning multiple Grammy awards, a Grand Prix du Disque, a Diapason d’Or, and a Gramophone Editor’s Choice award. His recent recordings are produced on the Canary Classics label, which he founded in 2004. Mr. Shaham and his sister, pianist Orli Shaham, recently released Nigunim: Hebrew Melodies, which features the world-premiere recording of Israeli composer Avner Dorman’s Nigunim. Other albums on the Canary Classics label feature Mr. Shaham performing works by Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Elgar, and Fauré, among others. Upcoming titles include Bach’s complete works for solo violin and several installments in the violin concertos of the 1930s project.
Mr. Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990 and won the Avery Fisher Prize in 2008. He was named Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America in 2012. He plays the 1699 “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius violin, and lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and their three children.