Press Room

Gil Shaham “Live From Lincoln Center” on November 20

Violinist Gil Shaham will celebrate the centenary of legendary Spanish violinist and composer Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908) with a concert at Lincoln Center’s intimate Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. The concert will be broadcast live on Public Television in the Emmy Award-winning Live From Lincoln Center series on Thursday, November 20 at 8 pm Eastern Standard Time (check local listings).
Shaham will perform the composer’s captivating and seductive music in a mostly-Sarasate program with pianist Jonathan Feldman, violinist Adele Anthony, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
(program details below). Soon after the broadcast, Shaham will perform
the Sarasate program – complete with dances and opera transcriptions –
in Spain, where he will also record the material for a future release
on his label, Canary Classics.

Gil Shaham comments:

couldn’t be more excited about this project. This is the 100th year
since Sarasate’s passing. Long before the show was discussed, Adele
[Gil’s wife, violinist Adele Anthony] and I were planning to go to
Spain to play ‘Sarasate-adas’. I really love Sarasate both as a
violinist and as a composer. His compositions are always humble –
short, titled pieces – but the writing is full of imagination and
melody, impeccably clean and concise. I enjoyed learning more about him
and I hope people will really like what they hear.

Sarasate was very respected in his day.
Many great composers dedicated their works to him – Saint-Saëns, Bruch,
Lalo, and many others. He was a pioneer – the first to bring the rich
music and dance of the Spanish vernaculars to the concert stage. He was
from the Basque country, and died in Biarritz in the South of France.
He was a Spanish aristocrat and was honored by the Queen. At the same
time he was loved by professional musicians and lay people and amateurs

Sarasate basically wrote three genres
of music: Spanish dances, opera transcriptions, and original
compositions. Our show will be giving a sampling of each of these. In
many ways, Sarasate was the heir to Paganini. Sarasate’s Caprice Basque is, in fact, a set of variations for violin and piano, pays homage to Paganini’s 24th Caprice.

Earlier in the month, Shaham can be heard on a new Canary Classics recording of Elgar’s Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and David Zinman.
The live recording, due for early digital release on iTunes on November
4 and for CD release on November 18, showcases Shaham in a work that he
recently performed to great acclaim with the Berlin Philharmonic and
Zinman, and which has distinctly Spanish inspirations. As Shaham notes:

Elgar is thought of as a British composer, his violin concerto has some
important Spanish connections. There are rhythms and gestures
throughout the piece that sound Spanish, such as the cadenza in the
last movement where Elgar writes on the score that the strings should
be ‘thrummed’ like a guitar. Plus, the violin does what sound like
flamenco improvisations. The score carries the Spanish inscription ‘Aqui está encerra el alma de
…..’ (‘Herein is enshrined the soul of …..’), a quotation from the
novel Gil Blas (set in Spain) by the French writer Alain-René Lesage.

London’s Sunday Times
gave the new album a four-star review, with David Cairns observing,
“Quite apart from the formidable technical challenge, a reading of
Elgar’s concerto that is faithful to the spirit of this beautiful,
elusive work is not easily achieved… . So this fine account, recorded
live in Chicago last year, is most welcome, as well as once again
refuting the fond old insular notion that to understand Elgar you have
to be English. Gil Shaham plays with a wonderfully pure, true,
expressive tone, and phrases like a master.”

While at Lincoln Center this month, Shaham will also pay a visit to the New York Philharmonic, where he will give three performances of Aram Khachaturian’s colorful Violin Concerto on November 12, 13, and 15.

Shaham discusses Elgar and Sarasate in greater detail at the following Q & A: For additional information visit

Gil Shaham – Live From Lincoln Center: A celebration of Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908)
Public Television broadcast, Thursday, November 20 at 8 pm (EST – check local listings)

Danza española No. 8: Habanera for violin and piano, Op. 26, No. 2
Zapateado for violin and piano, Op. 23, No. 2
Zortzico “Adiós Montañas Mías” for violin and piano, Op. 37
Work by Copland (Orpheus Chamber Orchestra only)
Caprice Basque for violin and piano, Op. 24
Romanza andaluza for violin and piano, Op. 22, No. 1
Introduction and Gavotte from Thomas’s “Mignon” for violin and piano, Op. 16
Concert Fantasy on themes from Mozart’s Magic Flute, Op. 54
Work by Turina (Orpheus Chamber Orchestra only)
Zigeunerweisen for violin and piano, Op. 20
Navarra for two violins and piano, Op. 33

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