Intermusica at the 2019 Verbier Festival: 18 concerts over 16 days
The Verbier Festival opens on 18 July 2019, beginning two weeks of concerts from some of classical music’s biggest stars. As ever there is a strong Intermusica presence, with nine artists performing throughout the festival. Several concerts will be streamed live on Medici.tv – click here for more details.
Kristóf Baráti made his debut at Verbier in 2016, giving two sensational back-to-back recitals of Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. He has since become a festival favourite and this year joins Valery Gergiev and the Verbier Festival Orchestra to perform Bartók at the festival’s opening concert at the Salle des Combins at 7pm on 18 July. On 23 July, Baráti unites with Lahav Shani and Sergei Babayan for an all-star chamber concert at the Église at 11am. Shani and Babayan begin the concert with Mozart Sonata for Two Pianos in D major, after which Baráti leads a performance of Brahms Piano Quartet No.1 with Shani, Lawrence Power and Jian Wang.
On 19 July, Narek Hakhnazaryan and Daniil Trifonov unite for a recital at the Église at 4pm. Together they perform sonatas by Shostakovich and Rachmaninov, a repeat of their recital programme during Trifonov’s recent residency at the Rheingau Festival. Hakhnazaryan also performs at the Église at 11am on 22 July, joining Marc Bouchkov and Behzod Abduraimov to play piano trios by Rachmaninov, Dvořák and the Armenian composer Arno Babajanian.
Daniil Trifonov gives two further performances at the festival this year. On 20 July he gives a sold-out solo recital at the Église at 8pm, performing a wide-ranging programme of 20th century music. The following day, he joins Sergei Babayan to perform works for two pianos by Robert Schumann, Bach and Mozart with Gábor Takács-Nagy and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra at the Salle des Combins at 7pm. Babayan also gives a solo recital of Chopin at the Église at 8pm on 29 July.
George Li returns to Verbier for three performances. On 21 July at 8pm he joins Daniel Hope, Lawrence Power and his fellow rising star Sheku Kanneh-Mason to perform music by Bridge, Elgar and Rebecca Clarke. Li and Kanneh-Mason then reunite on 24 July in recital at the Église at 11am, performing music by Beethoven, Debussy, Lutosławski, Fauré and Mendelssohn. Li brings his stay at the festival to a close with a solo recital of linked pieces by Beethoven and Schumann at the Église at 11am on 27 July.
This year sees the return of Louis Schwizgebel to Verbier for a solo recital at the Église at 4pm on 26 July. Schwizgebel performs three works by Debussy: the evocative Estampes, with its movements evoking Indonesia, Moorish Spain and a violent rainstorm, Images oubliées and L’isle joyeuse. His recital culminates in Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition.
Lahav Shani is joined by violinist Vadim Repin and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra at the Salle des Combins at 7pm on 27 July. Shani opens the concert with Weber Overture to Oberon and then conducts Repin in Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.2. The concert culminates in Mendelssohn Symphony No.3 ‘Scottish’. He also conducts the Verbier Festival Orchestra at the Salle des Combins in a concert of Prokofiev, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky at 7pm on 31 July.
Renaud Capuçon’s return to Verbier comes alongside pianist András Schiff in a sold-out recital at the Église at 11am on 28 July. Their programme features three different composers embodying three different ways of exploring the sonata form: Debussy, Schumann and Franck.
Leonidas Kavakos is a firm favourite of the Verbier audience and this year gives two performances at the Salle des Combins. On 29 July he performs Beethoven Sonata for Violin and Piano No.9 with Evgeny Kissin at 7pm, and he then returns on 2 August (also at 7pm) to perform Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Antoine Tamestit and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra.
Antoine Tamestit gives two further performances at this year’s festival. He is first joined by harpsichordist Masato Suzuki for a recital of music by Bach at the Église at 11am on 1 August. As well as collaborating on Bach’s Sonatas for Viola da gamba and harpsichord, the two musicians separately perform his Cello Suite No.2 and French Suite No.5. Tamestit also joins his regular collaborators in the Quatuor Ébène at 11am the Église on 29 July to perform Mozart String Quintet No.4.
Intermusica brings pair of world-class orchestras to Asia
June 2019 marks a busy month for Intermusica’s International Touring department as it brings the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra to Asia for their first performances on the continent with their new Chief Conductors, Andris Nelsons and Lahav Shani respectively.
After a successful appearance at Shanghai’s Oriental Arts Centre with Riccardo Chailly in March 2014 (also an Intermusica-organised visit), the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig returns to the hall with recently appointed Gewandhauskapellmeister Andris Nelsons. Joined by fellow Latvian, violinist Baiba Skride, Nelsons conducts repertoire including Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 alongside the fifth symphonies of both Tchaikovsky and Bruckner. The tour starts in Japan and visits Shanghai (4 June) and Guangzhou (6 June) before culminating with debuts for both Nelsons and Skride at the NCPA Beijing in two concerts on 8 and 9 June.
Hot on the heels of the Gewandhaus, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra arrives in Asia with their new Chief Conductor, Lahav Shani, for the first time. They too are joined by a world-class violinist, Intermusica’s Renaud Capuçon, who is the soloist for Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. Shani conducts symphonies by Schubert and Shostakovich, and in Shanghai he also play-directs JS Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No.1. The tour begins in Kaohsiung Taiwan and continues on to Zhuhai (11 June), Shanghai (13 and 14 June) and finally Beijing (15 June).
2019 marks the 40th sister-city anniversary of Shanghai and Rotterdam, and this tour coincides with The City of Rotterdam and Rotterdam Partners’ Trade Mission to China, with the concerts adding to the celebrations of the city’s special links with China.
Lahav Shani conducts the Wiener Symphoniker's Easter concerts with Renaud Capuçon
Lahav Shani and Renaud Capuçon join the Wiener Symphoniker at the Konzerthaus in Vienna for the orchestra's annual televised Easter concerts on 20 and 21 April 2019. Shani conducts an all-French programme that features Capuçon performing Ravel Tzigane and Chausson Poème alongside Dukas The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Ravel Daphnis et Chloé Suite No.2 and La Valse. The concert on Easter Sunday will be broadcast live on ORF, 3Sat and Arte.
Shani, Capuçon and the orchestra performed the same programme earlier this week at Capuçon's Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival, a concert which was highly praised in the press:
"Capuçon attacked the score with such eloquent anguish that it became a threnody. It was impossible to remain unmoved... The Symphoniker is a world-class outfit these days, and in Shani’s hands Ravel’s two masterpieces of orchestration, Daphnis et Chloé Suite No.2 and La Valse, emerged in a plenitude of beauties as texture, dynamics and balance all found their ideal focus within the sound picture."
Lahav Shani returns to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra with Kirill Gerstein
This week, Lahav Shani returns to Austria to conduct the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in three concerts at the city’s Musikverein. Shani, who is the orchestra’s Principal Guest conductor, will deliver a programme including Brahms Symphony No. 3 and Liszt Les Préludes.
Intermusica’s Kirill Gerstein will join Shani for a performance of Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 in D-minor. Shani and Gerstein have a partnership which has brought them together in performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic (2018), and will do so again in London in February 2020, with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Find out more here.
Makoto Ozone debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France & Lahav Shani
Makoto Ozone returns to Paris on 21 March 2019 to make his debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Ozone joins the orchestra to perform Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which he performs again later this season with Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
The concert is conducted by Lahav Shani, who opens the evening at the piano performing Rachmaninov Trio élégiaque No.1 alongside violinist Jean-Philippe Kuzma and cellist Catherine de Vençay, both members of the orchestra. He closes the concert with Strauss Don Quixote, which features soloist Edgar Moreau.
The concert will be broadcast live on France Musique – click here for more details.
Intermusica artists feature in the Southbank Centre's 2019/20 Classical Season
The Southbank Centre announced its 2019/20 Classical Season on 18 February, and Intermusica artists appear throughout. In addition to the Southbank Centre's world class annual programming, the new season also marks the start of Beethoven 250, the venue's year-long celebration of the composer's birth.
Southbank Centre Associate Artists Marin Alsop and Colin Currie both give multiple performances over the course of the season. On 9 November, Alsop conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Walton Belshazzar's Feast alongside Butterworth A Shropshire Lad and Elgar Enigma Variations. She then returns in April for Beyond Beethoven 9, in which she leads the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and a massed choir of 200 singers in two performances of Beethoven Symphony No.9 together with four new commissions between the movements of the symphony.
Beyond Beethoven 9 is part of All Together: A Global Ode to Joy, an initiative in conjunction with Carnegie Hall which take place on five continents with nine orchestras and sees the symphony reimagined as a “twenty-first century call for unity, justice and empowerment”. Read our full story on All Together here.
Currie first appears at the Southbank in the 2019/20 season at the International Chamber Music Series, recreating the premiere of Steve Reich Drumming at the Hayward Gallery with the Colin Currie Group on 6 and 7 December. He performs in the series again on 1 February 2020 alongside the JACK Quartet. Finally he joins the Philharmonia Orchestra for an Artist Portrait concert in their Music of Today series on 14 May.
Kirill Gerstein joins the London Philharmonic Orchestra in concert on 23 October to give the UK premiere of Thomas Adès Piano Concerto, performing under the baton of the composer himself. He then returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra on 13 February 2020 alongside Lahav Shani, who conducts Gerstein in Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini as well as Prokofiev Overture to War and Peace and Romeo and Juliet.
Daniil Trifonov also gives two performances at the Southbank Centre. On 31 October, he performs a solo recital of Schumann, Beethoven and Prokofiev at the Royal Festival Hall. On 22 March 2020, he joins Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony as the soloist for Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.4, part of Tilson Thomas' final season at the head of the orchestra.
In 2020 Lise Davidsen performs with the long-standing chiefs of both the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Vladimir Jurowski. On 19 March, she joins Salonen and the Philharmonia to sing Mahler Humeresken, a collection of settings of poems from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Then on 4 April she performs Beethoven Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II with Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, part of the Beethoven 250 series.
Also appearing in the Southbank Centre's 2019/20 season are conductors Charles Hazlewood (28 September), Geoffrey Paterson (21 November), Andrew Manze (7 December), Mark Wigglesworth (4 February 2020), Emmanuel Krivine (14 February 2020), John Wilson (27 February 2020), Thierry Fischer (10 March 2020) and Nicholas Collon (16 May 2020); violinists James Ehnes (9 October) and Leonidas Kavakos (27 February 2020); singers Sofia Fomina (19 October), Susan Bickley (30 November), Mary Bevan (15 December), Susanna Hurrell and Simon Shibambu (15 January 2020), Patricia Bardon (1 February 2020), Joélle Harvey (20 February 2020) and Wallis Giunta (11 June 2020); pianists Andreas Haefliger (15 March 2020) and George Li (3 May 2020); and cellist Kian Soltani (27 February 2020).
Intermusica is proud to co-promote the International Chamber Music Series with the Southbank Centre, a relationship which has lasted for almost 30 years. Click here to read our full summary of the series in the 2019/20 season.
Click here for complete details for Southbank Centre's 2019/20 classical season.
Lahav Shani makes debut with the London Symphony Orchestra
On 28 February, Lahav Shani returns to London for his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducting a selection of 20th century masterworks. The concert opens with Weill Symphony No.2 and closes with the 1947 version of Stravinsky Petrushka, between which Simon Trpčeski performs Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
Ahead of the concert, Shani spoke to the orchestra about the upcoming performance, his interest in the oft overlooked Weill symphony, and musical life in his birthplace, Tel Aviv. Click here to read the interview.
Lahav Shani makes debut with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra this week, conducting three performances of an all-Prokofiev programme with violinist Hilary Hahn. The concerts in Stockholm on 21 and 22 February and Gothenburg on 23 February feature Prokofiev Symphonies No.1 (The Classical Symphony) and No.5, which are performed either side of Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.1.
Shani recently conducted the Rotterdam Philharmonic, of whom he is Chief Conductor, in Prokofiev Symphony No.1, which, alongside Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.3, performed by Martha Argerich, was declared an “unforgettable” concert by Dutch newspaper Trouw. You can watch the concert, which was livestreamed by Medici TV, here.
Click here for more information about Shani’s debut with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra this week.
Host of Intermusica artists featured in international Best of 2018 press picks
2018 was another fantastic year for Intermusica artists, with many singled out by the world’s top publications and broadcasters in their end-of-year highlight features. Read a selection below:
Daniil Trifonov featured in a plethora of publications including The Guardian, Sunday Times, New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Arts Fuse, Seen & Heard and New York Classical Review. His recent release on Deutsche Grammophon, Destination Rachmaninov: Departure, with Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, was widely praised, as was his ‘Decades’ recital at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, which Alex Ross of The New Yorker called “playing of unreal beauty”. A recital with mentor Sergei Babayan was highlighted in Boston Classical Review, with Trifonov deemed “among the most sensational keyboard artists of his generation” and Babayan “second-to-none in his own right.”
Also popular amongst critics was Sir John Eliot Gardiner, whose Carnegie Hall appearance with his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, as part of Carnegie’s Berlioz Festival, drew glowing commentary. Gardiner’s Berlioz and Schumann exploration with the LSO, including an appearance at the 2018 BBC Proms, was similarly lauded (Arts Desk: “I reeled from… [Gardiner’s]… contributions … He sold instantly the ideas that wind and brass as well as upper strings… should stand”), and memorably enhanced by Antoine Tamestit’s take on Harold in Italy, which saw the soloist use theatrics to better inhabit the wandering eponymous hero (Tamestit’s Harold also came in for praise from Arts Desk, Limelight and New York Classical Review). Gardiner’s Verdi Requiem at the Concertgebouw and other venues was also mentioned by NRC and Seen & Heard.
British music champion Martyn Brabbins was singled out by several publications including The Guardian and Sunday Times, who included his releases of Tippett Symphonies 1& 2 (BBC Scottish Orchestra, Hyperion) and Ferneyhough: La Terre est un Homme (BBC Symphony Orchestra, NMC) in their recordings of the year round-ups.
Matthew Aucoin was picked out by WQXR for his opera Second Nature (on the topic of climate change) and “[making] the [classical] tradition more alive and urgent than ever.” Aucoin’s conducting skills impressed The New York Times, who noted his “instinct for tension” when conducting Peter Sellars’ Santa Fe Opera production of Doctor Atomic.
Colin Currie Group’s release of Drumming, the first on the new Colin Currie Records label, enchanted listeners with Arts Fuse calling it “one of – no, the – greatest recording of the piece to date” and The Boston Globe terming it “an ecstatic rendition…[which]…absolutely transports.”
Andrew Manze’s Mendelssohn symphony cycle with NDR Radiophilharmonie, where he is Chief Conductor, garnered praise from Arts Fuse, as did his moving War Requiem with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and NDR Radiophilharmonie at Liverpool Cathedral and in Hannover (one of Fiona Maddox at The Guardian’s Best of 2018), which saw British and German players unite to mark 100 years since the end of World War I.
Mark Wigglesworth was roundly praised by Seen & Heard (“typically first-rate conducting”), The Stage (“an exceptional musical performance”) and Arts Desk for his House of the Dead at the Royal Opera House; while over at English National Opera, Porgy and Bess, conducted by John Wilson, was a highlight for The Stage, The Guardian and Evening Standard.
Other notable recordings included Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s “eminently accessible” rendition of Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet (WQXR); Nora Fischer’s Hush – “radically unorthodox yet utterly gorgeous” (WQXR), Boris Giltburg’s Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2 with Royal Scottish National (Politiken); and Marek Janowksi’s “sumptuous Hindemith collection” on Pentatone (Arts Desk). Recordings by Francesco Piemontesi and Renaud Capuçon (Liszt Années de pèlerinage, Orfeo, and Bartok Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2 with LSO, Hyperion) featured in The Sunday Times’ Classical Albums of the Year.
Lahav Shani’s new position as Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra was noted as a special moment by Seen & Heard and NRC, while Giancarlo Guerrero’s performances with Boston Symphony Orchestra (“a spectacular, kinetic reading”) and Curtis Symphony Orchestra (“at once authoritative and at the same time warmly collaborative") were noted by Arts Fuse and Seen & Heard. Mischa Maisky’s Jansen/Maisky/Argerich Trio performance at the Barbican was deemed “chamber music writ large” and “opulent” by Arts Desk.
Singers singled out by cultural commentators included Lise Davidsen for her “superlative” performance in the title role in a “long overdue feminist reassessment” of Ariadne auf Naxos at Festival d’Aix en Provence (Seen & Heard), as well as for her involvement in the Royal Opera House and Antonio Pappano’s Verdi Requiem – “the classiest perfection imaginable, crowned by the phenomenal Lise Davidsen” (Arts Desk).
Fellow dramatic soprano Iréne Theorin was noted in Seen & Heard as a “commanding Isolde” in Staatsoper Berlin and Daniel Barenboim’s Tristan und Isolde, as was Natalya Romaniw, who sang "with grace and conviction” in the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Testament alongside the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Kirill Karabits.
David Alden’s “fine Lohengrin” at the Royal Opera House was singled out by The Stage, as was Garsington’s first full-scale commission, The Skating Rink, featuring Susan Bickley creating the role of Carmen.
2018 ended well for Sir James MacMillan, whose Cumnock Tryst took the number one spot in Fiona Maddox’s Best Classical Music of 2018 list for its unique role in “revitalising a local community with world-class performances”. The Scotsman, looking ahead to 2019, noted “it’s going to be a big year for Scotland’s most high-profile composer” as MacMillan turns 60, celebrating with a host of concerts and new works.
Intermusica artists welcome in the New Year
This year Intermusica artists Lahav Shani, Emmanuel Krivine, David Butt Philip, Valentina Peleggi and Nicholas Collon take part in concerts across Europe to welcome in 2019. Intermusica also brings the Royal Scottish National Orchestra to China to spread some traditional Hogmanay spirit.
Lahav Shani joins the Staatskapelle Berlin for at the city’s Staatsoper unter den Linden for concerts on 30 and 31 December. Shani begins at the piano for Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, before conducting Weill Four Songs in an arrangement for trumpet and orchestra. The programme also features Tchaikovsky’s festive Nutcracker Suite followed by Duke Ellington’s big band arrangement of the popular ballet score.
Emmanuel Krivine helms the Orchestre National de France’s New Year’s Eve concert alongside soprano Measha Brueggergosman, who sings songs from Gershwin Porgy and Bess. Krivine also conducts Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker Suite and Johan Strauss Sans-Souci-Polka and Emperor Waltzes. Krivine, Brueggergosman and the ONF then go on to perform the programme in Aix-en-Provence and Grenoble on 2 and 3 January.
David Butt Philip joins Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin for their New Year’s Eve concerts, which take place on 30 and 31 December at the Konzerthaus Berlin. Butt Philip performs Beethoven Symphony No.9 alongside fellow soloists Genia Kühmeier, Vasilisa Berzhanskaya and Paul Gay.
Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra are joined for their New Year’s concerts by pianist Imogen Cooper. Collon conducts them in a programme centred around Vienna, featuring three Mozart works as well as waltzes by Johann Strauss.
Intermusica's International Tours department is also in action over New Year as they bring the Royal Scottish National Orchestra to China. The orchestra is joined for the tour by violinist Nicola Benedetti and perform a programme of works including Debussy March Ecossaise and Bruch Scottish Fantasy.
Valentina Peleggi celebrates the New Year Swedish-style on 5 January with the Gothenburg Opera Orchestra in their annual Twelfth Night concert and ball. She conducts Offenbach arias in a starry line-up headed up by Katarina Karneus.
Lahav Shani & Francesco Piemontesi return to London with the Philharmonia Orchestra
Lahav Shani returns to London this month for a concert at the Southbank Centre with the Philharmonia Orchestra on 4 November 2018. Shani made his debut with the orchestra in 2016 and returned to conduct them last season with soprano Chen Reiss.
Shani opens the concert with the Overture to Weber's opera Oberon and also conducts Brahms Symphony No.1. As part of the Southbank Centre's Piano Masterworks series, he also conducts Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.5 performed by Intermusica's Francesco Piemontesi.
Following the concert, Shani travels to Sweden for concerts with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and then returns to Rotterdam for a series of performances of Schubert and Schumann with Alisa Weilerstein. Meanwhile Piemontesi remains in the UK for concerts with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra, performing Mendelssohn and Beethoven in Manchester and Sheffield.
Lahav Shani leads first tour as Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic
Lahav Shani embarks on his first tour with the Rotterdam Philharmonic as their new Chief Conductor this month, starting on 22 October 2018. Shani and the orchestra give five concerts in five days, commencing at Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie on 22 October before travelling to Nurnberg's Meistersingerhalle, the Liederhalle in Stuttgart, Tonhalle Mag in Zurich and finally Geneva’s Victoria Hall on Friday 26 October.
For the tour, Shani conducts a programme including Brahms Symphony No.4 and Bruch Violin Concerto No.1, which will be played by Pinchas Zukerman.
Click here for more information about the tour.
Lahav Shani performs solo recitals in Bonn & Rotterdam
This week Lahav Shani gives two solo piano recitals this week, performing at the Beethovenhaus Bonn, and De Doelen, Rotterdam on 8 and 10 October 2018. The recital in Rotterdam follows his recent inaugural concerts there as the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s new Chief Conductor. The recital programme includes piano sonatas by Scriabin and Prokofiev as well as Mussorgsy Pictures at an Exhibition.
Read a review of Shani's piano recital, featuring the same programme, at the Boulez Saal here.
Lahav Shani conducts inaugural performances as Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Lahav Shani gives his inaugural performances as Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic this weekend, conducting two concerts on 29 and 30 September 2018.
As well as marking the start of Shani’s tenure, the concerts open the orchestra’s 2018/19 season, which falls in their 100th year anniversary. Shani conducts a programme of Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3 with Daniel Barenboim as soloist, Shostakovich Symphony No.5 and Dutch composer Léon Orthel’s Scherzo No.2.
Click here to read more about Shani’s debut season as the orchestra’s Chief Conductor.
"Great dramatic talent": critical acclaim for Lahav Shani's solo recital at the Boulez Saal
Lahav Shani performed in recital at the Boulez Saal in Berlin on 1 July, and Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel was greatly impressed:
“Had one required any justification for why this musician is in such great demand, this evening delivered it... Whizz-kid Shani is no older than 29 years, but he is already on a steep trajectory which seems to know only one direction: up... In the Pierre Boulez Saal, Lahav Shani opens an all-Russian programme with Scriabin's sonata - leaving no doubt about his great dramatic talent. He proves his class with refreshing sovereignty.”
"Hätte es noch einer Begründung bedurft, warum dieser Musiker so gefragt ist, dieser Abend hat sie geliefert… Ein Senkrechtstarter ist Shani mit 29 Jahren nicht mehr, vielmehr befindet er sich längst auf einer steilen Flugbahn, und die scheint nur eine Richtung zu kennen: nach oben… Im Pierre Boulez Saal eröffnet Lahav Shani mit Skrjabins Sonate einen rein russischen Abend – und lässt keinerlei Zweifel an seinem großen dramatischen Talent…"
Shani revives the programme, which includes sonatas by Scriabin, Prokofiev and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, next season for recitals at the Beethovenhaus Bonn on 8 October and De Doelen in Rotterdam on 10 October.
Lahav Shani gives solo recital at Berlin's Boulez Saal
Lahav Shani performs in recital on 1 July 2018 at the Boulez Saal in Berlin as part of the hall's Rising Stars series. Shani performs an all-Russian programme of Scriabin Sonata No.9 in F-major ‘Black Mass’, Prokofiev Sonata No.6 in A-major and Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition.
Shani revives the programme next season for recitals at the Beethovenhaus Bonn on 8 October and De Doelen in Rotterdam on 10 October.
Lahav Shani makes Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra debut
On 15 June, Lahav Shani will make his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Shani will conduct the final movement of Penderecki Polish Requiem, the Chaconne, as well as Schoenberg Pelleas und Melisande. The concert will also feature Shani as a soloist as he performs and conducts J.S Bach Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor BWV 1052.
The concert will be broadcast on Dutch public radio, Avrotros, on 24 June.
Lahav Shani, Renaud Capuçon & Kian Soltani perform as soloists in Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Israel Philharmonic
Lahav Shani, Renaud Capuçon and Kian Soltani reunite this month for four concerts with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra from 19 June 2018, performing as soloists in Beethoven Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano. The concerts are conducted by Vasily Petrenko.
Earlier in the season Shani, Capuçon and Soltani formed an all-star trio for recitals at the Aix-en-Provence Festival de Pâques and on tour in Germany.
In January of this year, Shani was announced as the next Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic, a post that he assumes from the 2020/21 season.
Lahav Shani conducts Renaud Capuçon and the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra
Lahav Shani conducts the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra on Thursday 7 June in Brussels (Centre for Fine Arts) and Saturday 9 June in Antwerp (Queen Elisabeth Hall). The programme features Dutilleux L’arbre des songes with violinist Renaud Capuçon, Dukas The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and concludes with Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique.
The concert on 9 June will be broadcast on Radio Klara (date to be confirmed).
Lahav Shani & Renaud Capuçon return to the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Lahav Shani and Renaud Capuçon reunite this month for a concert with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France on 18 May 2018. The concert opens with Shani and Capuçon performing Debussy Sonata for Piano and Violin, after which Capuçon performs as the soloist in Yan Maresz' orchestration of Ravel's Sonata for Violin. The concert culminates with Schoenberg Pelléas et Mélisande. The concert will be broadcast live by France Musique in partnership with ARTE Concert.
Shani and Capuçon recently formed an all-star piano trio along with cellist Kian Soltani for concerts at April's Festival de Pâques, of which Capuçon is the Artistic Director. The trio performed a programme of Piano Trios by Dvorák and Tchaikovsky, which they repeated in Cologne and Hohenems later in the month.
Renaud Capuçon, Lahav Shani & Kian Soltani perform in recital at the Aix-en-Provence Festival de Pâques
Renaud Capuçon continues at the Festival de Pâques on 5 April 2018 when he performs in recital alongside Lahav Shani and Kian Soltani. Performing at the Grand Théâtre de Provence, the artists perform a programme of Piano Trios by Dvorák and Tchaikovsky.
Capuçon is the festival's artistic director and opened the festival with a performance of Bartók Violin Concerto No.2 with the London Symphony Orchestra on 26 March. He and Soltani perform in recital again on 8 April, this time joined by Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim and Marianne Crebassa.
The trio reunite later in April for two recitals in Germany. On 27 April they perform at the Kölner Philharmonie and the following day at the Schubertiade Hohenems.
Lahav Shani debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra this month, leading the orchestra in three concerts at their home in Verizon Hall from 22 March 2018. The concerts open with Christian Lindberg Akbank Bunka, which features the orchestra's Principal Trumpet David Bilger. Shani then conducts the 1919 suite of Stravinsky The Firebird and Prokofiev Symphony No.5. Shani gave a critically acclaimed performance of the Fifth Symphony last season with the Staatskapelle Berlin:
"In the Fifth Symphony, Shani fully demonstrated himself to be an artist in his own mould."
The concerts in Philadelphia follow another North American debut, this time with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from 15 March. The concerts feature more Prokofiev as Nikolai Lugansky performs his Piano Concerto No.2. Shani also conducts Schubert Symphony No.9 'The Great'.
Lahav Shani conducts the Rotterdam Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw
Lahav Shani returns to the Rotterdam Philharmonic this month for four concerts across Belgium and the Netherlands from 8 March 2018. The first concert comes at Antwerp's Elizabeth Hall, after which Shani and the orchestra return to De Doelen in Rotterdam for concerts on 9 and 11 March. On 10 March they also perform at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in a concert that will be recorded by NTR for deferred broadcast.
Shani conducts a programme featuring Prokofiev Symphony No.1 'Classical', Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1 with soloist Julian Steckel and Prokofiev Symphony No.5. In the final concert on 11 March, Shani will perform and direct Mozart Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor, K.466 from the keyboard.
Intermusica at the Southbank Centre's 2018/19 classical season
The Southbank Centre launched its 2018/19 classical season on 30 January 2018, with Intermusica artists and performing throughout the year. Highlights include Marin Alsop continuing her relationship with the Southbank in concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra continuing their residency, and performances from Leonidas Kavakos, John Wilson, Kian Soltani and George Li.
Another major highlight of the season is the International Chamber Music Series, which Intermusica co-promotes with the Southbank Centre. This year it opens with a concert from Jordi Savall and his Hesperion XXI and features a concert marking the centenary of author Muriel Spark from the Nash Ensemble, and performances from Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang, the Jerusalem, Artemis and Belcea quartets, and performances of Stockhausen by Southbank Centre Artist in Residence Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra continue as Associate Orchestra with three concerts in the new season. The first, on 16 September 2018, pairs a memorized performance of Beethoven Symphony No.5 with HK Gruber's Frankenstein!! in a concert conceived and directed by Jane Mitchell. Their second, on 20 January 2019, is titled Songs from the Road and features Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer, arrangements of folk ballads and the world premiere of Du Yun Where we lost our shadows. Their final concert takes place on 5 June 2019 and features works by Beethoven, Thomas Adès, a Max Richter world premiere and Mozart's Symphony No.41.
Kirill Gerstein renews his partnership with Thomas Adès when he joins the composer and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 26 September to perform Adès' concerto for piano and orchestra, In Seven Days.
Geoffrey Paterson returns to the London Sinfonietta on 13 October to conduct them in a performance of Pascal Dusapin Passion, a collaboration with Music Theatre Wales.
Patricia Bardon returns to the role of Baba the Turk in a performance of Stravinsky The Rake's Progress with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 3 November.
Lahav Shani and Francesco Piemontesi join forces for a concert of Brahms and Beethoven with the Philharmonia Orchestra on 4 November. Shani conducts Weber Oberon Overture, Brahms Symphony No.1 and Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 'Emperor', with himself as piano soloist.
Marin Alsop makes her first visit of the season on 11 November, conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a performance of Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem. She then returns on 16 January to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a contemporary programme with Colin Currie giving the world premiere of Helen Grime's Percussion Concerto.
John Wilson returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra on 15 November for a concert of Gershwin and Walton. He is joined by Louis Schwizgebel, who performs Gershwin Piano Concerto. Wilson then brings his John Wilson Orchestra to the Southbank Centre on 15 December, leading them in a characteristic programme of music from Hollywood and Broadway. He returns on 18 April to lead the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a special performance of Gilbert & Sullivan Trial by Jury.
Mary Bevan joins the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Brian Wright for a seasonal performance of Handel's Messiah on 16 December.
Leonidas Kavakos appears at the Southbank Centre's International Chamber Music Series on 18 January alongside Yuja Wang, performing a recital of Mozart, Prokofiev, Bartók and Strauss.
Martyn Brabbins joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on 20 January 2019 to conduct an English programme of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten and the London premiere of Geoffrey Gordon's Prometheus, a concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra.
Jacques Imbrailo joins the Mozartists and conductor Ian Page on 29 January for the next concert in their Mozart 250 series, which is themed around the year 1769. Imbrailo sings arias by Gluck, Haydn, Arne, Gréty and Paisiello.
Susan Bickley returns to the Southbank Centre to sing Beethoven Symphony No.9 alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Oliver Gooch on 16 March.
Kian Soltani returns on 23 March after his acclaimed debut at Southbank Centre with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra. This time he joins Edward Gardner and the London Philharmonic Orchestra to play Elgar Cello Concerto.
George Li joins Vasily Petrenko and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 27 March to perform Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, part of a programme that also features Khachaturian Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia and Walton Symphony No.1.
Following a critically acclaimed London conducting debut with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2017, Carlos Miguel Prieto returns to lead the young musicians in a concert on 12 April. Prieto conducts an exciting programme of Revueltas, Carlos Chávez and Copland.
Francesco Piemontesi returns to the International Piano Series on 2 May, performing a solo recital of works by Bach, Debussy and Rachmaninov.
Martin James Bartlett joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on 7 May to perform Ravel Piano Concerto in G, part of a programme that also features the world premiere of Cecilia McDowall Da Vinci Requiem.
Lahav Shani returns to the Wiener Symphoniker with Daniil Trifonov
Lahav Shani returns to the Wiener Symphoniker on 14 February to lead the orchestra in a series of concerts in Vienna and then on tour of Austria and Germany. Shani, the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor, directs two sets of concerts in Vienna: at the Konzerthaus on 14 and 15 February and then at the Musikverein on 18 and 19 February. At the Konzerthaus, Shani conducts excerpts from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet and Beethoven's Corolian Overture and Piano Concerto No.3 with soloist Jasminka Stancul. Shani is then joined by fellow Intermusica artist Daniil Trifonov at the Musikverein for Schumann Piano Concerto and Prokofiev Symphony No.5.
Shani and the orchestra then embark on tour, starting with two concerts at the Großes Festspielhaus in Salzburg on 21 and 22 February. Shani conducts the orchestra and flautist Erwin Klambauer in a programme of Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Orchestra No.1 and Overture to Il nozze di Figaro, as well as Prokofiev Symphony No.5. The tour then continues with a performance with Julia Fischer at the Gasteig in Munich on 23 February and in Bregenz on 24 February.
Lahav Shani returns to conduct the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall
Lahav Shani returns to London on 11 February 2018 to conduct the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall. Shani opens the concert with Mendelssohn Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage and a selection of Richard Strauss, including Das Rosenband, Morgen and Meinem Kinde, performed by soprano Chen Reiss. The concert, which will be recorded for deferred broadcast on BBC Radio 3, concludes with Mahler Symphony No.4 in G major.
Shani made his debut with the Philharmonia in 2016, conducting a programme of Mahler Symphony No.1 'Titan' and Mozart Piano Concerto No.20.
Elsewhere in February Shani returns to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra for a tour of Austria and Germany with soloists Daniil Trifonov and Julia Fischer.
Intermusica at the Barbican Centre's 2018/19 classical season
The Barbican Centre revealed its classical music season for 2018/19 on 23 January 2018, and as ever there are many Intermusica artists performing over the season. Highlights include Daniil Trifonov's London Symphony Orchestra Artist Portrait, the visit of Sir Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to perform Mahler Symphony No.6 and Sir John Eliot Gardiner's return to the LSO. See below for full details.
Daniil Trifonov is the subject of the LSO's Artist Portrait next season. The Portrait begins in February 2019 when he performs Ravel Piano Concerto with the orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle, and continues in June with a performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 and a solo recital of works by Beethoven and Prokofiev. It culminates on 16 June with a performance of Shostakovich Concerto No.1 for piano, trumpet and strings.
On 29 September 2018, Ben Gernon conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Holst The Planets, presented by scientist and broadcaster Professor Brian Cox.
Sir James MacMillan's All the Hills and Vales Along receives its world premiere from the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Halsey's London Symphony Chorus on 4 November and forms part of the Barbican Centre's series of events commemorating the First World War. Earlier that day, the piece is the focus of an LSO Discovery Day, during which members of the public can attend a morning LSO rehearsal of the MacMillan premiere followed by chamber music and a discussion about creative responses to World War I.
Martyn Brabbins is also involved in the First World War anniversary, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of Cheryl Frances-Hood's Last Man Standing, part of a programme that also includes Bax November Woods and Vaughan Williams Symphony No.4.
Marin Alsop returns to the Barbican on 4 December to continue the Bernstein at 100 celebrations with a concert performance of the composer's Candide. Leonardo Capalbo stars in the title role.
Leonidas Kavakos makes two appearances at the Barbican during the 2018/19 season. In September he joins Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax in bringing their critically acclaimed Brahms Piano Trios to the Barbican Hall. In December, he renews his relationship with Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO when he performs Brahms Violin Concerto.
James Ehnes returns to the Barbican on 18 January 2019, performing Beethoven Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Mary Bevan joins John Butt and the BBC Symphony Orchestra to perform Bach's B minor Mass on 2 February, singing with her sister Sophie Bevan, tenor Samuel Boden and bass-baritone Edward Grint.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner continues his fruitful collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra in February, conducting two concerts of works by Weber, Mendelssohn and Schumann. Gardiner is joined by soloists Isabelle Faust, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Piotr Anderszewski.
Lahav Shani joins the LSO in February, alongside pianist Simon Trpčeski, for a concert of Weill, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky.
Nora Fischer joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Joana Carneiro in concert on 11 May, performing as soprano soloist in the UK premiere of Golijov Oceana.
Intermusica brings the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to the Barbican on 25 May for a concert with their Music Director, Sir Antonio Pappano.
Kian Soltani performs at LSO St Luke's in June, as part of the ECHO Rising Stars tour, for which he was nominated by the Wiener Konzerthaus and Wiener Musikverein.
Lahav Shani appointed Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has announced the appointment of Lahav Shani as its Music Director, starting from the orchestra’s 2020/21 season.
For the 2019/20 season he will have the title Music Director Designate. The 29-year-old Israeli conductor and pianist will become the second ever Music Director of the orchestra, succeeding the legendary Zubin Mehta who was appointed to the position in 1969.
Concurrently, Shani will hold the position of Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands, a position which he takes up in September 2018 taking over from Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He also serves as Principal Guest Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, starting from the current 2017/18 season.
Shani began his connection with the IPO as a solo pianist when he was 16 years old. In October 2013, just after he won first prize at the Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition in Bamberg, Germany, the IPO invited him to conduct its season-opening concerts. Globes, reviewing one of the performances, wrote that “this concert will be remembered as a dizzying, perhaps even historic event in the history of the Israel Philharmonic.“ Since then, he has been appearing regularly with the IPO each year, both as a conductor and a pianist and in December 2016 he conducted the final concert of the IPO’s 80th birthday celebrations.
Shani was born in Tel Aviv in 1989 and started his piano studies aged six with Hannah Shalgi, continuing with Professor Arie Vardi at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv. He then went on to complete his studies in conducting with Professor Christian Ehwald and piano with Professor Fabio Bidini, both at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin. Whilst a student he was mentored by Daniel Barenboim.
Recent and upcoming highlights as guest conductor include engagements with many leading international orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Staatskapelle, Philhadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra, amongst others.
For press enquiries, please contact: Jasmin Loy Kalisky +972-54-8879055 Jasmin@shalomtelaviv.com.
Lahav Shani returns to the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Lahav Shani returns to the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra this month, conducting a series of three concerts from 12 January 2018. Following one concert at Theater der Stadt Schweinfurt on 12 January, Shani and the orchestra then return to the Konzerthalle in Bamberg for concerts on 13 and 14 January.
The programme for each of the performances opens with an all-Bach first half, including Suite No.2 in B minor and Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Continuo with soloists Bart Vandenbogaerde and Ilian Garnetz. Following the interval, Shani conducts Penderecki Ciaccona and Mendelssohn Symphony No.3 in A minor, Op.56 'Scottish'.
Lahav Shani conducts Rotterdam Philharmonic's New Year's Concert with Kirill Gerstein
Lahav Shani and Kirill Gerstein join the Rotterdam Philharmonic for the orchestra's New Year's concerts on 5 and 7 January 2018. Together they perform the Urtext version of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 alongside works by Johann Strauss II.
Gerstein recorded the Urtext version in 2015 with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and James Gaffigan. Click here to read Gerstein’s article about the Urtext version in the New York Review of Books. The recording was met with great critical acclaim:
“Kirill Gerstein delivered the 1879 revised version of the first – whose every bar reflects Tchaikovsky’s inspiration at white heat – like the warrior-poet he is. Technically flawless and imbued with benign authority, his performance was studded with moments of unexpected beauty; one seldom sees an audience erupt with such spontaneous delight.”
Shani takes up the position of Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic next season. Click here to watch the orchestra's announcement of the appointment.
Lahav Shani conducts Orchestra of the Bayerische Staatsoper for the first time
Lahav Shani travels to Munich this month for his first concert conducting the Orchestra of the Bayerische Staatsoper on 19 December 2017. Shani is joined for the concert by oboist Giorgi Gvantseladze for Strauss' Oboe Concerto, part of a programme that also features Mendelssohn Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture and Dvorák Symphony No.9 'From the New World'. The concert is the orchestra's third Academy Concert of the season and is preceded by an introduction to the works from the Association of Friends and Supporters of the Music Academy of the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Shani begins the new year with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, where he takes up the post of Chief Conductor next season. Shani conducts the orchestra in two concerts at De Doelen with soloist and fellow Intermusica artist Kirill Gerstein, who performs Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1. Also on the programme are works by Maier and Johann Strauss.
Elsewhere in January, Shani conducts concerts with the Bamberg Symphony and Israel Philharmonic orchestras.
Lahav Shani & Francesco Piemontesi perform with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Francesco Piemontesi joins Lahav Shani and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra for two concerts on 23 and 24 November at De Doelen. The programme is Dvorák Carnival Overture, Brahms Symphony No.4 and Piemontesi is the soloist in Ravel Piano Concerto in G major.
Lahav Shani is Chief Conductor Designate of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; he will take up the position in September 2018.
Piemontesi and Shani previously performed together with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2014, when they received a glowing five-star review from Bachtrack:
"There’s no doubting Shani is a risk-taker and what chutzpah for him to display this on his first concert with this orchestra, not to mention his first in the UK... The symphony concluded in a thrillingly demonic fashion, bringing the house down. Only one more word seems appropriate: wow!
Piemontesi’s conception was mobile, almost daringly so, and unfussy. Yet, he rendered this concerto’s uniquely rhapsodic elements with a deeply-felt intensity and, at times, an ecstatic quality…"
Lahav Shani performs with Staatskapelle Berlin at the Boulez Saal
Lahav Shani returns to the Berlin Staatskapelle this month, joining them for a concert at Berlin's Boulez Saal on 4 November 2017. Performing as both conductor and pianist, Shani leads the orchestra in a programme of J.S. Bach Keyboard Concerto No.1 in D minor, directed by Shani from the keyboard, followed by Bartók Divertimento for String Orchestra. The concert closes with Haydn Symphony No.92 in G major ‘Oxford’.
Shani last performed with the Staatskapelle Berlin in May, conducting an all-Prokofiev programme at the Philharmonie:
"In the Fifth Symphony, Shani fully demonstrated himself to be an artist in his own mould. His body language is incisive; he dances, accentuates dramatically, draws out grand phrases, then pares it down to minimalist time-beating – but it always has musical justification, it’s never for show... The Staatskapelle gave him emotion, clarity and intimacy, with an extremely precise, beautiful sound."
Later in the month, Shani returns to the Gurzenich Orchestra for three concerts at the Cologne Philharmonie on 12, 13 and 14 November. The programme includes Mendelssohn Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, Mozart "Ch'io mi scordi di te? ... Non temer, amato bene" with soprano Chen Reiss and Mahler Symphony No.4.
Intermusica in Vienna: a weekend of music
From 14 October 2017 several of Intermusica's artists descend on Vienna for a weekend of performances across the city.
Leonidas Kavakos makes the first of two visits to the city this month on 14 October, when he gives the European premiere of Lera Auerbach's new violin concerto, NyX, with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.
15 October sees two Intermusica conductors performing. Lahav Shani conducts his first performance as Principal Guest Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker, leading the orchestra in a programme of Prokofiev, Sibelius and Mozart. Joshua Bell is the soloist, with a repeat performance the following day.
Also on 15 October, Leo Hussain returns to Theater an der Wien to conduct the house's new production of Wozzeck, which is directed by Robert Carsen and stars Florian Boesch in the title role. Performances continue until 27 October.
Later in the month, Leonidas Kavakos returns to the city alongside Kirill Gerstein for the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra's 275th anniversary tour, while Narek Hakhnazaryan performs chamber music at the Konzerthaus. Jesús López Cobos and Evelino Pido also return to the Wiener Staatsoper, leading productions of Donizetti L'elisir d'amore and Puccini Tosca.
Lahav Shani gives first performances as Principal Guest Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker
Lahav Shani returns to the Wiener Symphoniker this month for his first performances as the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor on 15 and 16 October 2017. Shani gives two performances at the Vienna Konzerthaus, conducting a programme of Prokofiev Symphony No.1 'Classical', Sibelius Violin Concerto with soloist Joshua Bell, and Mozart Symphony No.40.
Shani is developing into a noted interpreter of Prokofiev, with Der Tagesspiegel praising a recent performance of his Fifth Symphony with the Staatskapelle Berlin:
"In the Fifth Symphony, Shani fully demonstrated himself to be an artist in his own mould. His body language is incisive; he dances, accentuates dramatically, draws out grand phrases, then pares it down to minimalist time-beating – but it always has musical justification, it’s never for show... The Staatskapelle gave him emotion, clarity and intimacy, with an extremely precise, beautiful sound."
Der Tagesspiegel, May 2017
Lahav Shani makes debut with Orchestre National de Lyon and Bryn Terfel
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Orchestre National de Lyon this month, conducting two performances at the Auditorium de Lyon on 5 and 7 October and one performance at the Le Grand Théâtre de Provence on 6 October 2017.
Shani is joined for the performances by Bryn Terfel, who sings a number of Verdi arias as well as "Wotans Abschied und Feuerzauber" from Wagner Die Walküre. Shani also conducts Wagner Siegfried Idyll and Mozart Symphony No.40.
The concerts are Shani's second French debut of the season, following soon after an acclaimed debut with the Orchestre de Paris:
"The intelligence of the conducting of the young Lahav Shani, only twenty-eight years old, surprised at the first measurements, notably by the ability to treat the first material as finely as the second, for example a fantastic use of the altos around a minute thirty, detached without being put further forward than the partition demands."
Lahav Shani debuts with the Orchestre de Paris
Lahav Shani returns to Paris this month to make his debut with the Orchestre de Paris at the Philharmonie de Paris in two concerts on 20 and 21 September 2017. Shani leads the orchestra in an all-Russian programme which opens with Prokofiev War and Peace: Overture, followed by Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1 with soloist Edgar Moreau. The second half of each concert features Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6, 'Pathétique'.
Shani regularly conducts Russian music, recently leading the Staatskapelle Berlin in an acclaimed all-Prokofiev performance at the Berliner Philharmonie:
"In the Fifth Symphony, Shani fully demonstrated himself to be an artist in his own mould. His body language is incisive; he dances, accentuates dramatically, draws out grand phrases, then pares it down to minimalist time-beating – but it always has musical justification, it’s never for show... The Staatskapelle gave him emotion, clarity and intimacy, with an extremely precise, beautiful sound."
Der Tagesspiel, May 2017
Lahav Shani debuts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood
Lahav Shani makes his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut with a concert at Tanglewood on 13 August 2017. Shani conducts a performance opening with Mozart Le nozze di Figaro: Overture, followed by Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor with soloist Joshua Bell. Shani closes the concert with Schubert Symphony No.9 in C major, 'The Great’.
Later in the month, Shani gives four performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the first of which sees Shani return to the Robeco series at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on 16 August. Shani conducts a programme including Ives The Unanswered Question, Weill Symphony No.2, Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue (directed by Shani from the piano) and Bernstein West Side Story: Symphonic Dances. Shani and the orchestra repeat the programme at the Ravello Festival on 19 August and at De Doelen on 22 August. The fourth concert with the orchestra on 26 August is an open air concert at Veerhaven Rotterdam, for which Shani is joined by pianist Simon Trpceski who performs the first movement of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1. The rest of the programme includes works by Glinka, Rachmaninov and Rimsky-Korsakov.
Lahav Shani makes debut with Staatskapelle Dresden & Verbier Festival
Lahav Shani makes the first of two European debuts this month when he conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden on 7 July 2017. Shani joins the orchestra at the Semperoper to conduct a programme of Barber Adagio for Strings, Bach Oboe d'amore Concerto in D major and Weill Symphony No.2.
At the end of the month, Shani gives his first performances at the Verbier Festival. For the first on 24 July, Shani joins Renaud Capuçon, Maxim Rysanov, Edgar Moreau and Leigh Mesh for a performance of Schubert Piano Quintet in A major, 'Trout', at Église de Verbier. The following evening, he conducts the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra at the Salle des Combins in a programme of Mozart Le nozze di Figaro: Overture, Bruch Violin Concerto No.1 with soloist Daniel Lozakovich and Schubert Symphony No.9 in C major, 'The Great'. The performances will be streamed live on Medici TV.
Lahav Shani returns to the Gurzenich Orchestra at the Kölner Philharmonie
Lahav Shani returns to Cologne this month for three performances with the Gurzenich Orchestra at the Kölner Philharmonie on 18, 19 and 20 June 2017. Shani conducts the orchestra in a programme examining human identity, opening with Prokofiev Overture on Hebrew Themes and followed by Bloch Schelomo: Rhapsodie Hébraïque with soloist Nicolas Altstaedt and Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4.
Elsewhere this month, Shani makes his debut with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra on 8 June with a concert at the Laeizhalle. Shani opens the concert at the piano, directing the orchestra in a performance of Bach Keyboard Concert No.1. He is then joined by violinist Guy Braunstein, who performs as soloist in Bruch Scottish Fantasy. Shani closes the concert with a performance of Beethoven Symphony No.5 in the second half.
Lahav Shani makes debut with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks this month, conducting two concerts at Munich's Herkulessaal on 25 and 26 May 2017. Shani leads the orchestra and soloist Rudolf Buchbinder in Brahms Piano Concerto No.2, which is followed in the second half by excerpts from Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet.
Shani's other engagements in Germany this season include performances with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the Gürzenich Orchestra and Staatskapelle Dresden. Earlier in May, he made a return to the Staatskapelle Berlin, whom he conducted in his operatic debut in December 2016.
Lahav Shani conducts the Staatskapelle Berlin
Lahav Shani returns to the Staatskapelle Berlin this month, conducting two concerts with the orchestra at the Berliner Philharmonie and Berlin Konzerthaus on 7 and 9 May 2017. Shani conducts the orchestra in an all-Prokofiev programme, including Symphony No.1, 'Classical', Violin Concerto No.1 with soloist Lisa Batiashvili and Symphony No.5.
Shani made his debut with the Staatskapelle Berlin in 2014 and made a critically acclaimed return in December 2016 when he conducted the orchestra in La bohème at the Berliner Staatsoper:
"The exquisite solos touched me deeply, reflecting Shani’s ear for the moving details in Puccini’s score... I confess I don’t get too excited when it comes too Puccini. But this performance was something else... Tonight’s heartbreak put the bohemian life in its true perspective. But finding another such electrifying production of Puccini will be rare: by the end of the evening, the skin on my face had tightened up from all the salt"
Lahav Shani returns to the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Lahav Shani returns the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra this month, conducting two performances at the Stockholm Concert Hall on 20 and 22 April 2017. The concerts open with Lili Boulanger D'un matin de printemps and D'un soir triste, followed by Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.1 with soloist Baiba Skride. The second half of each concert features Stravinsky The Rite of Spring.
Earlier in the month, Shani makes his debut with the Bochumer Symphoniker with whom he performs a programme including Beethoven Piano Concerto No.2 with soloist Boris Giltburg and Bruckner Symphony No.5. Together they give three concerts on 6, 7 and 8 April, all at the Musikforum Bochum.
Lahav Shani makes debut with the Hallé Orchestra
Lahav Shani returns to the UK this month to make his debut with the Hallé Orchestra in four concerts from 22 March 2017. Shani conducts three concerts at Bridgewater Hall on 22, 23 and 26 March and a fourth at Victoria Hall, Hanley, on 24 March. Shani leads the orchestra in a programme of Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 with soloist Sofya Gulyak and the 1945 version of Stravinsky Firebird Suite.
Shani's concerts with the Hallé are his second UK debut of the month. On 3 March he conducts his first concert with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at Edinburgh's Usher Hall, leading the orchestra in a programme of Dvorák Carnival Overture, Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto and Beethoven Symphony No.3 'Eroica'. He conducts two further performances with the orchestra at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen, on 4 and 5 March.
Intermusica artists at the 2017 Verbier Festival
Intermusica artists appear throughout the 2017 Verbier Festival, with all performances streamed live by Medici.tv. See all the performance times, dates and venues below:
Also performing at the Église on 22 July is the Pavel Haas Quartet. At 8pm they are joined by pianist Barry Douglas for a performance of Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor and Beethoven String Quartet No.
Richard Goode, Renaud Capuçon and Edgar Moreau appear at the Église at 8pm on 24 July to perform Brahms Piano Trio No.2. In the second half of the recital, Capuçon and Moreau are joined by Lahav Shani, Maxim Rysanov and Leigh Mesh for a performance of Schubert Piano Quintet in A major 'The Trout'.
The Pavel Haas Quartet makes its second appearance at the festival on 25 July, performing in recital at the Église at 11am. The quartet presents a programme of quartets by Martinů and Smetana as well as Dvořák String Quintet No.3, for which they are joined by the quartet's friend and former colleague Pavel Nikl.
Lahav Shani then conducts the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra at the Salle des Combins at 7pm on 25 July, leading a programme of Mozart Il nozze di Figaro Overture, Bruch Violin Concerto No.1 with soloist Daniel Lozakovich and Schubert Symphony No.9.
The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, makes its festival debut this year, performing at the Église at 8pm on 26 July. They give a concert of works by Duruflé, Tomkins, Byrd and Poulence among others.
Joshua Weilerstein conducts the Junior Orchestra at 4pm at the Salle des Combins on 27 July. Weilerstein conducts a programme of Fauré Elegie for Cello and Orchestra with Edgar Moreau followed by Bruch Kol Nidrei and Dvořák Symphony No.6.
Richard Goode makes his second appearance at the festival, performing a programme of Mozart, Janáček, Debussy and Beethoven at the Église at 11am on 29 July.
Joshua Weilerstein is joined by George Li at the Salle des Combins at 4pm on 29 July for a concert with the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra. Li performs Liszt Piano Concerto No.1, with Weilerstein then conducting Dvořák Symphony No.6.
Kirill Gerstein and Sergei Babayan join Yuja Wang and the Verber Festival Chamber Orchestra at the Salle des Combins at 7pm on 29 July for a performance of Bach concertos under the direction of Roberto Gonzáles-Monjas.
At 11am on 30 July, Kirill Gerstein is joined by Truls Mørk to perform sonatas by Brahms, Janáček and Prokofiev at the Église.
In the evening of 30 July, Antoine Tamestit and Mischa Maisky appear at the Salle des Combins alongside Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Roman Simović and Evgeny Kissin. They perform a programme of Mozart String Quartet No.1, Fauré String Quartet No.1 and Dvořák Piano Quintet No.2.
On 31 July, George Li performs a solo recital of Beethoven and Liszt at 11am at the Église.
Joshua Weilerstein joins Martin Frost and the Verbier Festival Orchestra at the Salle des Combins on 31 July at 7pm. Weilerstein conducts a programme of Copland, Lutoslawski, Shaw and Prokofiev.
On 1 August at 11am, Tamestit joins Roberto González-Monjas, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Pablo Ferrández, Lukas Geniušas & Yuja Wang to perform works by Schubert, Beethoven & Brahms.
Tamestit and Maisky reunite at the Église at 8pm on 3 August, this time performing Brahms Piano Quartet No.3 with Nikolai Lugansky. Tamestit also performs Brahms Sonata for Viola and Piano with Lugansky, while Maisky and Lugansky play the composer's Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in an arrangement for cello and piano by Paul Klengel.
On 5 August at the Salle des Combins at 7pm, James Ehnes, Antoine Tamestit, Mischa Maisky, Pamela Frank, Roman Simović, Pablo Ferrández, Martin Fröst, Nikolai Lugansky, Yuja Wang, the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and Antonio Pappano will join forces for an evening celebrating friendship and musical excellence.
Lahav Shani makes his debut with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall on 24 February 2017, the highlight of a series of conducting engagements across North America this month. Shani conducts the orchestra in three performances of Ives The Unanswered Question, Weill Symphony No.2, Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue with soloist Jon Kimura Parker and Bernstein West Side Story: Symphonic Dances.
Shani begins his North American tour with his debut with the San Diego Symphony in two concerts on 10 and 11 February at the Jacobs Music Center with a programme including Prokofiev Symphony No.1 in D major, Op.25 'Classical', Haydn Sinfonia concertante in B-flat major, Op.84, Hob.I:105 and culminating in Bartók Concerto for Orchestra.
The following week he returns to Vancouver to give two performances at the Orpheum Theatre on 18 and 20 February, when he conducts Brahms Piano Concerto No.1 with soloist Kirill Gerstein and Schoenberg Pelleas und Melisande.
Lahav Shani conducts the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra in return to the Philharmonie
Lahav Shani returns to the Berlin Philharmonie on 22 January 2017 for a concert with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. The concert opens with Dukas The Sorcerer's Apprentice, followed by Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2 in F major, Op.102, which Shani directs from the piano. The second half of the concert, which will be broadcast live on Deutschlandradio Kultur, features the 1945 version of Stravinsky The Firebird: Suite.
The concert in Berlin follows two concerts at the KKL Luzern on 6 January with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. Shani and the orchestra are joined for the concerts by soloist Khatia Buniatishvili, who performs Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3. The programme also features Beethoven Symphony No.7.
Shani ends the month with his debut with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, with whom he gives two performances on 26 and 27 January at the Auditorium RAI Arturo Toscanini. Shani conducts a Russian programme of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 in B-flat minor with soloist Beatrice Rana and Shostakovich Symphony No.5 in D minor.
Lahav Shani conducts La bohème at Berliner Staatsoper
Lahav Shani conducts six performances of Puccini La bohème with the Staatskapelle Berlin at the Berlin Staatsoper Schiller Theater from 9 December 2016. Shani conducts a cast that includes Alexandra Kurzak, Anna Samuil, Abdellah Lasri and Arttu Kataja, with direction from Lindy Hume.
Shani first worked with the Berlin Staatskapelle in June 2014 with concerts at the Berlin Konzerthaus and the Berlin Philharmonie, and he returns for two orchestral concerts in May 2017.
Prior to these operatic performances, Shani returns to the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra for performances at Tivoli Vredenburg Utrecht (1 and 2 December) and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on 4 December. The programme for these concerts includes Prokofiev Overture on Hebrew Themes Op.34, James MacMillan Viola Concerto with soloist Lawrence Power and Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64.
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France on 21 October 2016, both as conductor and as soloist. Shani opens the concert at the Maison de la Radio with Bernstein West Side Story: Symphonic Dances, after which he directs Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2 from the keyboard. The performance concludes with Shostakovich Symphony No.9, and the whole concert will be recorded for broadcast on France Musique.
Earlier in the month, Shani returns to the Bamberg Symphony for two performances on 13 October (Stadthalle, Erlangen) and 14 October (Konzerthalle Bamberg). Shani is joined at both performances by Menahem Pressler, who performs Mozart Piano Concerto No.27 in B-flat major, K.595. The rest of the programme includes the premiere of Alexander Goehr Two Sarabandes and Schubert Symphony No.9 in C major, D.944 'The Great'.
Lahav Shani returns to the Seoul Philharmonic
Lahav Shani travels to South Korea this month for a return to the Seoul Philharmonic at the Seoul Arts Center on 23 September 2016.
Shani conducts a programme including Ravel Rapsodie espagnole, Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor with soloist Sayaka Shoji and Bartók Concerto for Orchestra.
Lahav Shani announced as next Chief Conductor of Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Lahav Shani is announced today, 23 August 2016, as the next Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
Shani will be 29 when he takes up the position in September 2018, making him the orchestra’s youngest ever Chief Conductor.
Shani will join the orchestra as it prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary year, and in the first five years of his tenure will work with the orchestra for an average of twelve weeks per season. He made his debut in Rotterdam in June this year as conductor and piano soloist. After this success, the members of the orchestra unanimously selected him as their new Chief Conductor. He will succeed Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
The orchestra has a tradition of searching out and developing exceptional young talent: Nézet-Séguin was 33 when he began his tenure in the role and Valery Gergiev became Principal Guest Conductor at the age of 36.
Watch an interview with Shani about the appointment below, and read an in depth interview on the orchestra’s website.
Lahav Shani said: “I am over the moon. From the first moment, I felt a rare click with this orchestra. It is so easy to communicate with these musicians, they respond to the smallest sign. Everything I ask of them, I get, and more. And they love to take risks, just like me: never play it safe, always take it to the limit. The possibilities are endless. It doesn’t get any better than that as a conductor.”
Photo credit: Hans van der Woerd
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra & Nicola Benedetti
Lahav Shani travels to Sweden this month to make his debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra on 31 August 2016. The concert at the Stockholm Concert Hall is Shani's second debut of the month, following his first performance with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on 4 August.
Shani joins the orchestra at the Stockholm Concert Hall for a performance of Szymanowski Violin Concerto No.2 with soloist Nicola Benedetti and Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4 in F minor.
Earlier in the month, Shani makes a return to the Rotterdam Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on 17 August. Shani is joined by soloist Augustin Hadelich for Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, and he conducts Brahms Symphony No.4 in the second half of the performance.
Lahav Shani debuts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Lahav Shani returns to the United Kingdom this month to make his debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on 4 August 2016.
Shani gives three performances with the orchestra across Scotland, starting at the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness on 4 August before continuning on to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Aberdeen on 5 August and finishing at Blair Castle on 6 August.
The programme opens with Prokofiev Symphony No.1, Op.25 'Classical' followed by Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with soloists Stephanie Gonley and Jane Atkins and closes with Beethoven Symphony No.8 in F major.
Lahav Shani conducts Tchaikovsky with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic
Lahav Shani returns to the Royal Flemish Philharmonic this month to conduct a performance at deSingel on 9 July 2016.
Shani conducts an all-Tchaikovsky programme, opening with the overture and fantasy to Romeo and Juliet followed by Symphony No.4 in F minor.
Lahav Shani debuts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra this month, conducting two performances at De Doelen on 17 and 19 June.
Shani conducts a programme of Beethoven Egmont Overture, followed by Mozart Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor, K.466, which he directs from the keyboard. The concerts close with Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 in B minor, 'Pathétique'.
Shani makes a second debut of the month at the Festival de Saint-Denis, conducting the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris on 2 June at La Basilique Cathédrale de Saint-Denis. Shani conducts an all-Beethoven programme including the Violin Concerto in D major with soloist Alina Ibragimova and Symphony No.6 in F major, Op.68 'Pastorale'.
Lahav Shani conducts Mendelssohn & Mahler for his Japanese debut with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra
Lahav Shani makes his Japanese debut this month, conducting two performances with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra on 29 April at Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall and on 30 April at Parthenon Tama.
The programme for the two concerts includes Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor with soloist Shunske Sato followed by Mahler Symphony No.1 in D major, 'Titan'.
Lahav Shani makes debut with the Czech Philharmonic in Prague
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Czech Philharmonic this month, conducting one performance at the Rudolfinum in Prague on 2 April 2016. The concert opens with Wagner Tannhäuser: Overture followed by Páleníček Piano Concerto No.3 with soloist Veronika Böhmová, and closes with Beethoven Symphony No.6 in F major, 'Pastorale'.
Forthcoming highlights for Shani this season also include a debut with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and performances with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Lahav Shani makes Royal Flemish Philharmonic debut with 20th century programme
Lahav Shani make his debut with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra with a performance at De Roma in Antwerp on 26 March 2016. Shani conducts a programme of Weill Symphony No.2, Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue (with Shani himself as soloist) and Bernstein West Side Story: Symphonic Dances.
Lahav Shani makes his London debut as conductor & soloist with the Philharmonia
Lahav Shani makes his London debut as both conductor and soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra on 4 February 2016. Shani directs Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 from the keyboard and conducts Mahler Symphony No.1 at the Royal Festival Hall. Shani and the orchestra also perform the programme on 3 February at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and on 5 February at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham.
Shani returns to the UK later in the month to make his debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Performing at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall (25 February) and Victoria Hall, Hanley (26 February), Shani’s programme includes Beethoven Egmont Overture, Mozart Piano Concerto No.20 (with Shani directing from the keyboard) and Brahms Symphony No.4. Shani returns to the Philharmonic Hall on 28 February, this time conducting a programme of Wagner Siegfried Idyll, Haydn Trumpet Concerto with soloist Tine Thing Helseth and Brahms Symphony No.4
Lahav Shani announced as Principal Guest Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker
Today it is announced that Lahav Shani will become Principal Guest Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker from the 2017/18 season onwards. This announcement comes just as Shani returns to conduct the orchestra in two concerts at the Vienna Konzerthaus and tours with them throughout Europe, including at the Philharmonie de Paris, Frankfurt Alte Oper and Munich Philharmonie am Gasteig.
Read the full press release below:
Lahav Shani, one of the outstanding conductors of the younger generation, will become the Principal Guest Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker from the 2017-18 season onwards. This appointment is an expression of the deep and fruitful artistic relationship that has developed between the orchestra and the conductor since their first collaboration in May 2015.
Lahav Shani: “I’m incredibly excited about this appointment. My first encounter with the Wiener Symphoniker in 2015 remains an unforgettable experience for me. Right from the first moment I was excited by the special sound, the orchestra’s wonderful and vivid expressiveness and the musicians’ dedication. I’m looking forward very much to the job of regularly working and making music with this unique ensemble.”
Lahav Shani began his musical education at the age of six, studying piano with Hannah Shalgi and later with Arie Vardi at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv. His continuing studies took him to the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin, where he was able to deepen his skills in conducting with Christian Ehwald and at the piano with Fabio Bidini. In recent years he has been mentored by Daniel Barenboim. In 2013 Lahav Shani won first prize in the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition of the Bamberg Symphony; shortly afterwards he was invited by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to open their 2013-14 season.
In the current season and beyond Lahav Shani will conduct orchestras such as the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and the Gothenburg Symphony. Shani has also made a name for himself as an opera conductor; for example, he will be presenting Puccini’s La bohème at the Berlin Staatsoper in December 2016.
Lahav Shani debuted with the Wiener Symphoniker in May 2015. In the current season he is directing the orchestra’s concerts at both the Wiener Konzerthaus and the Musikverein Wien, and substituting for Music Director Philippe Jordan in conducting concerts with Hilary Hahn in Vienna, Paris, Basel, Bregenz, Frankfurt and Munich.
As Principal Guest Conductor, Shani will regularly collaborate with the Wiener Symphoniker from 2017 onwards on concerts, tours, recordings and music education projects.
The Managing Director of the Wiener Symphoniker, Johannes Neubert, commented: “During our previous collaborations, Lahav Shani has impressed musicians, critics and audiences alike with his immense musicality and versatility. We’re absolutely delighted that he’s agreed to join our Symphoniker team. I’m sure that Lahav will provide a very positive complement to the work done by Music Director Philippe Jordan in developing the profile of the Wiener Symphoniker.”
Lahav Shani conducts Wiener Symphoniker at Vienna Konzerthaus and on tour in Europe
Lahav Shani steps in this month to conduct the Wiener Symphoniker both in Vienna, from 10 January 2016, and on tour in Europe, replacing the orchestra’s Music Director Philippe Jordan who is indisposed due to health reasons.
Shani conducts two performances at the Vienna Konzerthaus (10 and 11 January) and five concerts on tour at the Philharmonie de Paris (18 January, broadcast live on Radio France), Stadtcasino Basel (19 January), Bregenz Festspielhaus (21 January), Frankfurt Alte Oper (23 January) and the Philharmonie am Gasteig in Munich (24 January).
The programme for this tour includes Dvorák Carnival Overture, Dvorák Violin Concerto in A minor with soloist Hilary Hahn and Brahms Symphony No.4 in E minor.
It was announced on 8 January that Shani will become Principal Guest Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker from the 2017/18 season onwards. In a press release, the orchestra said, “this appointment is an expression of the deep and fruitful artistic relationship that has developed since the first collaboration between this orchestra and this conductor in the summer of 2015”. Read more about the announcement.
Lahav Shani returns to the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra to conduct Wallin and Brahms
Lahav Shani returns to the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for a concert at the Göteborgs Konserthus on 14 January 2016. The concert follows his hugely successful debut with the orchestra last season when he stepped in to replace Gustavo Dudamel. Shani conducts a programme of Wallin Act and Brahms Symphony No. 4.
Later in the month, Shani makes his second visit of the season to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He conducts two performances at Birmingham Symphony Hall (27 January) and at Saffron Hall (31 January), when the programme includes Haydn Symphony No.92 in G major ‘Oxford’, Szymanowski Violin Concerto No.2 with soloist Nicola Benedetti, Brahms Symphony No. 4 (27 January) and Dvorák Symphony No.9 'From the New World' (31 January).
Lahav Shani receives critical acclaim for Vienna Philharmonic debut
Lahav Shani has received phenomenal reviews for his debut performances with the Vienna Philharmonic. Shani gave two concerts with the orchestra at the Vienna Musikverein during which he was both conductor and soloist, directing from the piano Bach Keyboard Concerto No.1 in D minor before conducting Mahler Symphony No.1 from memory.
One of the youngest conductors ever to work with the orchestra, Shani’s debut has been described as “sovereign”, “thrilling” and “exceptional”:
“Shani’s Bach, conducted from behind a modern piano, was a real experience. The sheer accuracy with which the ensemble responded to his precise soli in JS Bach’s phenomenal D minor piano concerto was a delight. The finale was convincing in its use of delicately placed, thrilling lines…
Shani imbued the work [Mahler Symphony No.1] with such a mature, noble composure and a striving for perfection that was clear to everyone on the day that nobody could believe he was only 26. The orchestra’s gratitude for the conductor’s work was logical: precise playing throughout, gorgeous snippets of Klezmer music in the third movement, and the brass transformed the finale into exuberant rapture – pure authority, refined by exceptional skill.”
“It’s simply about lively music-making – with an intellectual foundation – for the exceptionally talented young Shani… [His Bach] isn’t just played straight, but is instead reimagined from a Romantic perspective: with fresh tempi, a bouncing energy and expansive phrasing...
[In Mahler’s Symphony No.1] Shani dug deeper, and truly directed the sound in a dramatic whirlpool of sudden escalations in the build-up, but also in the other direction: the highly-motivated orchestra gave him intense, wonderfully beautiful pianissimo passages.”
"The Israeli pianist and conductor Lahav Shani impressed with his relaxed musicianship and his bold injection of intensity… Mahler’s first symphony was thrilling: there was risky playing and a collective musical expression. The music making was far from routine, with haunting passages and a huge range of emotion… there was huge applause for the bright young thing from Tel Aviv.”
“Shani’s performance [of the Mahler] was anything but an identikit performance… differences from tradition never sounded different for their own sake; they could always be justified within his conception. During the long introduction to the first movement, a growling bass line, at an unusually – convincingly – slow tempo, had the woodwind sound unusually – convincingly – uneasy above. The contrast with spring-like gambolling thereafter, with wonderfully sweet string playing, was clear, but so too was kinship, calling into question that contrast; Mahler’s playing with sonata form expectations was clearly both understood and communicated, harmonic tension screwed up nicely... And when the dam finally burst, there was some magnificent orchestral swagger...
The Klezmer music was equally well judged; remembered, reimagined, integrated, the tension thereby all the greater than if it sounded, as too often occurs, as if it had come from nowhere...
This was an integrative reading, which this movement [in the finale], its structure perhaps problematical unless powerfully unified in performance, cries out for – in every sense. And so, triumph, when it came, felt and indeed had been earned. I have little doubt that we shall hear more from this pianist-conductor.”
Seen and Heard International
Lahav Shani returns to City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to conduct Bernstein and Mahler
Lahav Shani returns to conduct the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall on 28 November 2015. The concert opens with Ives The Unanswered Question, followed by Bernstein Chichester Psalms with the CBSO Chorus. The programme concludes with Mahler Symphony No. 1 in D major, ‘Titan’.
Lahav Shani steps in to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic
Lahav Shani steps in to replace Franz Welser-Möst for two performances with the Vienna Philharmonic on 22 and 23 November. The concerts take place at the Vienna Musikverein.
Shani will be both conductor and soloist in both performances, playing the solo part of Bach Keyboard Concerto No.1 in D minor before conducting Mahler Symphony No.1 in the second half.
Click here to see photos of Shani in rehearsals for his debut with the orchestra.
Lahav Shani make debut as conductor and pianist with the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Lahav Shani makes his debut as both conductor and pianist with the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin on 11 October 2015 at the Berlin Konzerthaus. Shani conducts Bernstein Candide Overture, Weill Symphony No. 2 and Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and Shani opens the second half of the concert by directing Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue from the piano.
Lahav Shani makes US debut with Los Angeles Philharmonic at Hollywood Bowl
Lahav Shani makes his US conducting debut this month, when he conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl on 8 September 2015. Shani opens the concert with Glinka Ruslan and Ludmilla: Overture followed by Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, when he is joined by pianist Khatia Buniatishvili. The performance concludes with Dvořák Symphony No.9 'From the New World'.
Shani makes a second debut later on in the month, when he conducts three performances with the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf (25, 27 and 28 September). The programme for these concerts includes Schumann Fantasie in C major, Grieg Piano Concerto with soloist Benjamin Grosvener and Brahms Symphony No.4.
Lahav Shani returns to City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Lichfield Festival
On 8 July 2015, Lahav Shani returns to conduct the City of Birmingham Orchestra at the Lichfield Festival. The programme opens with the world premiere of David Matthews Toward Sunrise, followed by Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor with soloist Jennifer Pike. Shani closes the concert at Lichfield Cathedral with Beethoven Symphony No.6 in F major, Op.68 'Pastorale'.
Lahav Shani steps in for Dudamel with Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Lahav Shani steps in this week to conduct two concerts with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra on 17 and 18 June.
Replacing Gustavo Dudamel, Shani makes his debut with the orchestra in a programme including Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor and Mahler Symphony No.1. Both concerts take place at the Göteborgs Konserthus.
Lahav Shani returns to Bamberg Symphony Orchestra for performances at Würzburg Festival
Lahav Shani returns to perform with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra this month, with whom he will give two performances at the Mozartfest Würzburg on 12 and 13 June 2015.
The programme features Mozart Le nozze di Figaro: Overture, Hosokawa Elegy for Violin and Strings, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor with violinist Renaud Capucon and concludes with Beethoven Symphony No.7.
Lahav Shani makes his debut with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, conducting the orchestra at Victoria Hall, Geneva, on 28 May.
The concert opens with Tchaikovsky Excerpts from The Nutcracker, followed by Glière Concerto for Coloratura Soprano & Orchestra with soloist Laura Aikin. Shani will close the evening’s concert with Dvorák Symphony No.9 in E minor, 'From the New World'.
Lahav Shani makes his debut with Gürzenich Orchestra at Cologne Philharmonie
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Gürzenich Orchestra with three performances at the Cologne Philharmonie on 12, 13 and 14 April. The programme for each of these concerts will feature Berg Lyric Suite, Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with tenor Christoph Prégardien and Schubert Symphony No.9 in C major, 'The Great'.
On 25 April, Shani will return to the NDR Radio Philharmonie in Hannover for a concert to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. On this occasion, Shani will conduct Bloch Baal Shem ‘Three Pictures of Chassidic Life’ with violinist Andrej Bielow and Bernstein Chichester Psalms.
Lahav Shani makes his Seoul Philharmonic debut with soloist Boris Giltburg
Lahav Shani travels to South Korea this month where he makes his debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra on 14 March. Boris Giltburg is the soloist for the concert, and will perform Brahms Piano Concerto No.1.
The concert takes place at Seoul Arts Center and Shani will conduct a programme that also includes Dvorák Symphony No.9 in E minor.
Lahav Shani: UK debut with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & soloist Francesco Piemontesi
Lahav Shani makes his UK debut conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on 6 November at Symphony Hall.
The programme begins with Prokofiev War and Peace Overture, after which Shani is joined by fellow Intermusica artist Francesco Piemontesi for Beethoven Piano Concerto No.4. The concert will finish with Prokofiev Symphony No.5.
For Piemontesi, this is his third appearance in 2014 with the orchestra, after two concerts in January when he performed Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
Lahav Shani makes Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra debut
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Hessischer Rundfunk Sendesaal on 19 September. The concert opens with Rolf Wallin Act followed by Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with soloist Benjamin Beilman. The second half of the performance features Dvořák Symphony No.9 ‘From the New World’, and the whole concert will be record for broadcast on Hessischer Rundfunk.
Shani will also take part in two further performances with the orchestra: on 18 September, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra will be joined by school children for a performance of Dvořák Symphony No.9, and Shani also conducts the same symphony on 21 September as part of the orchestra’s Backstage Für Alle series.
Lahav Shani makes his debut with Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw
On 30 August, Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as part of the Robeco Summer Nights series. Shani opens the concert with Wallin Act followed by Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 ‘Emperor’ with soloist Ronald Brautigam; the performance closes with Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 ‘Pathétique'.
Also in August, Shani returns to the Konzerthausorchester Berlin for a performance at Choriner Musiksommer. The repertoire for the concert, which takes place on 24 August, includes Mozart Overture to Die Zauberflöte, Dukas The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Ravel Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No.2.
Lahav Shani makes Berlin Staatskapelle debut at Berlin Konzerthaus and Philharmonie
Lahav Shani makes his debut with the Staatskapelle Berlin in June, conducting two performances at the Berlin Konzerthaus (9 June) and Berlin Philharmonie (10 June).
The programme opens with Mahler Rückert-Lieder, for which Shani is joined by alto Bernarda Fink; the concerts will close with Mahler Symphony No.1 ‘Titan’.
On 27 June, Shani then makes his debut with the Basel Symphony Orchestra. Shani and the orchestra will be joined by prize-winning students from the Hochschule für Musik Basel in a programme which will include Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme, Szymanowski Sinfonia concertante, Bartók Piano Concerto No.2 and Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1.
Intermusica signs Lahav Shani, who steps in for Dudamel in Bamberg this week
Prodigiously talented 24-year-old Israeli conductor and pianist Lahav Shani, winner of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra's prestigious Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition in 2013, joins Intermusica for worldwide management.
This week, Shani will step in for Gustavo Dudamel with the Bamberg Symphony for concerts in Bamberg (20 and 23 November) and at the Alte Oper Frankfurt (21 November). He conducts a programme of Mahler Symphony No.1 and Bach’s D minor keyboard concerto, which he will direct from the piano.
Shani has a particularly close relationship with the Israel Philharmonic. In October 2013 he conducted the orchestra in the seven opening concerts of its new season, replacing Kurt Masur. He has also appeared with the orchestra both as a piano soloist and playing in the double bass section.
"This concert will be remembered as a dizzying, perhaps even historic, event in the history of the Israel Philharmonic,” commented Globes (Israel). “The last time I saw such enthusiasm for a young conductor at the IPO was for the first appearance of Gustavo Dudamel in the country." An immediate re-invitation followed for four weeks with the orchestra over the next two seasons.
Now based in Berlin, Shani is strongly supported by Daniel Barenboim and, following his success in Bamberg, he has received numerous invitations to conduct orchestras such as the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony, Gürzenich Orchester Köln, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and Sinfonieorchester Basel, as well as returning to the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.
“Incredibly assured, self-composed and with lightning-quick musical reactions… Shani already has an astonishingly professional baton technique, is always ahead of the orchestra with his markings, turns musical ideas into expressive movements with his hands, does not gesticulate, does not lose himself in details, but rather possesses a distinct structural awareness… He creates an unerring sense of atmosphere and the finest musical depiction of light and shadow.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 2013
Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, Bamberg