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 the following year won first prize in Israel’s Claremont Competition. He then became a scholarship student at Juilliard, and also studied at Columbia University. Mr. Shaham made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1990 as a Shenson Young Artist. He returns to the SFS in June 2020 to perform Barber's Violin Concerto with Michael Tilson Thomas.
Recent season highlights include performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and Orchestre de Paris, as well as multi-year residencies with the orchestras of Montreal, Stuttgart, and Singapore. Mr. Shaham continues his exploration of violin concertos of the 1930s, including the works of Barber, Bartók, Berg, Korngold, and Prokofiev, among many others. He joins his longtime duo partner, pianist Akira Eguchi, in recitals throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
Mr. Shaham has recorded more than two dozen CDs, earning multiple Grammy awards, a Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d’Or, and Gramophone Editor’s Choice award. Many of these recordings appear on Canary Classics, the label he founded in 2004. Notable releases include 1930s Violin Concertos, Virtuoso Violin Works, Elgar’s Violin Concerto, Hebrew Melodies, The Butterfly Lovers, J.S. Bach’s complete sonatas and partitas for solo violin, and many more. His most recent recording in the series 1930s Violin Concertos, Vol. 2, including Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2, was nominated for a Grammy award.
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.