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Gil Shaham is Musical America’s “Instrumentalist of the Year”

The editors of the Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts announced today that they will bestow one of classical music’s highest honors, Instrumentalist of the Year, on American master violinist Gil Shaham at their annual awards ceremony on December 5. In the announcement, Musical America news editor Susan Elliott wrote that “Shaham is a brilliant and passionate player, bringing a special kind of humanism to his interpretations.”  Elliott also praises Shaham’s “imaginative retrospective of the remarkable series of violin concertos composed in the 1930s” and cites his extensive recording career, including more than 20 CDs for Deutsche Grammophon and now on his own critically acclaimed label, Canary Classics. Joining Shaham at the ceremony will be Wu Han and David Finckel (Musicians of the Year), Meredith Monk (Composer of the Year), Jaap van Zweden (Conductor of the Year), and Jonas Kaufmann (Vocalist of the Year).
Shaham, who is currently playing Bach’s solo sonatas and partitas on a five-city U.S. recital tour, commented:
“I am touched and overwhelmed that the editors of Musical America would consider me – let alone honor me – for Instrumentalist of the Year. This award is special to me, as I have been a longtime Musical America reader and have waited with enthusiasm every year for the announcement of the award winners. Making it even more special is the fact that I will be honored alongside my dear friends and longtime collaborators Wu Han and David Finckel, and immensely talented musicians like Jaap, Meredith and Jonas.”
During Shaham’s banner 2011-12 season, he will continue his in-depth exploration of iconic “Violin Concertos of the 1930s” into a third season, performing pieces by Barber, Berg, Hartmann, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky with the leading orchestras of three continents, including with the New York and Hong Kong philharmonics and the Tonhalle and Paris orchestras. For appearances with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, he couples the Berg with world premiere performances of a new concerto by Richard Danielpour. The 2011-12 season also sees the Avery Fisher Prize-winner expand his extensive discography with the release of a duo recital album of Hebrew melodies recorded with his sister, pianist Orli Shaham, on his own Canary Classics label. Core repertoire prominently featured in his fall programming includes the Brahms Violin Concerto – with which he opened the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s new season at Carnegie Hall and will reprise with the symphony orchestras of Boston, San Francisco, and Delaware – and Bach’s solo sonatas and partitas, which he presents on a five-city U.S. recital tour.
Additional information about Gil Shaham is available at, and a list of his upcoming engagements follows.
Gil Shaham – selected upcoming engagements
November 5; Santa Barbara, CA
Solo recital
Bach: Partita No. 3 in E, BWV 1006
            Sonata No. 3 in C, BWV 1005
            Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004
Campbell Hall (University of California – Santa Barbara)
November 6; Stanford, CA
Solo recital
Bach: Partita No. 3 in E, BWV 1006
            Sonata No. 3 in C, BWV 1005
            Partita No. 2 in D minor, BMV 1004
Dinkelspiel Auditorium (Stanford University)
November 8; Santa Fe, NM
Solo Recital
Bach: Partita No. 3 in E, BWV 1006
            Sonata No. 3 in C, BWV 1005
            Partita No. 2 in D minor, BMV 1004
Lensic Performing Arts Center
November 18 & 19; Wilmington, DE
Brahms: Violin Concerto
Delaware Symphony
Grand Opera House
November 23, 25, & 26; San Francisco, CA
Brahms: Violin Concerto
San Francisco Symphony
Davies Symphony Hall
December 10; Los Angeles, CA
Brahms: Violin Concerto
Boston Symphony Orchestra / Ludovic Morlot
Walt Disney Concert Hall
December 14 & 15; Paris, France
Barber: Violin Concerto, Op. 14
Paris Orchestra / James Conion
Salle Pleyel
December 17; Tel Aviv, Israel
Bruch: Concerto
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Mann Auditorium
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