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 February in a recital given under San Francisco Symphony auspices.
After performing at Caramoor, Aspen, the Blossom Festival, Tanglewood, and the Hollywood Bowl last summer, Mr. Shaham’s 2012-13 season engagements include the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Cincinnati Symphony; the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Boston and Saint Louis symphony orchestras; and Mozart’s Turkish Concerto with the Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Seattle symphony orchestras. During recital tours this season in the US, Europe, and Japan, Mr. Shaham performs new works, including compositions by William Bolcom and Avner Dorman, as well as a recently commissioned duo work by Julian Milone. This season also sees Mr. Shaham return to Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin. He frequently collaborates with his sister (pianist Orli Shaham), with his wife (violinist Adele Anthony), and with his brother-in-law (conductor David Robertson).
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. The first recording of his Violin Concertos of the 1930s project will be released on Mr. Shaham’s label, Canary Classics, and will include Stravinsky’s Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Barber Concerto with the New York Philharmonic, and Berg’s Concerto with the Dresden Staatskapelle, all with David Robertson conducting. Other albums on the Canary Classics label feature Mr. Shaham performing works by Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Elgar, and Prokofiev, among others. Mr. Shaham and his sister recently released Hebrew Melodies, which explores both traditional and modern Jewish music and features the world-premiere recording of Israeli composer Avner Dorman’s Nigunim.
Mr. Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990 and won the Avery Fisher Award in 2008. He plays the 1699 “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius violin.