A consummate musician recognized for her grace, subtlety and vitality, Orli Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as one of today’s most gifted pianists. Hailed by critics on four continents, Ms. Shaham is in demand for her prodigious skills and admired for her interpretations of both standard and modern repertoire. The New York Times called her a “brilliant pianist,” The Chicago Tribune recently referred to her as “a first-rate Mozartean” in a performance with the Chicago Symphony and London’s Guardian said Ms. Shaham’s playing at the Proms was “perfection.”
Orli Shaham has performed with nearly all of the major symphony orchestras in North America, from Boston to Los Angeles and everywhere in between, as well as some of the most important orchestras in Europe, Asia and Australia including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and many more. A frequent guest at summer festivals, she has performed at Tanglewood, Ravinia, Verbier, Mostly Mozart, Aspen, among many others. Her recital schedule takes her to well-known venues around the world, from Carnegie Hall in New York to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.
Ms. Shaham’s 2015-2016 season includes solo recitals in New York City, Washington, DC and Omaha which feature selections from her 2015 recording, Brahms Inspired. The 2-CD set includes new works by Brett Dean, Avner Dorman, and Bruce Adolphe alongside works of Brahms and his compositional forefathers. The New York Times praised Ms. Shaham’s “beautiful performances” on the recording, calling it “a treasurable album.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch stated that the album “takes the listener on an intellectual as well as a musical journey” and cited Ms. Shaham’s “musical intelligence and integrity.”
Concerto highlights of the 2015-2016 season include performances with the St. Louis Symphony conducted by Nicholas McGegan, the Milwaukee Symphony conducted by Hans Graf and the Aspen Festival Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu, among others. Ms. Shaham continues to serve as the Artistic Director for Pacific Symphony’s chamber music series in Costa Mesa, California, a position she has held since 2007. She is a featured performer on each of the chamber recitals in the series.
In addition to Brahms Inspired, Ms. Shaham’s 2015 recordings also include her performance of John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music with the pianist Marc-André Hamelin and the San Francisco Symphony, with the composer conducting, featured on the SFSO album Absolute Jest. In 2014, Orli Shaham released American Grace, a CD of piano music by John Adams and Steven Mackey including the recorded premiere of Mackey’s Stumble to Grace (written especially for Ms. Shaham) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, David Robertson conducting. The previous year, Ms. Shaham released the CD Nigunim – Hebrew Melodies, recorded with her brother, the violinist Gil Shaham. She and Gil have collaborated on several additional recordings including Dvorák for Two on Deutsche Gramophone, an all-Prokofiev disc and Mozart in Paris.
Orli Shaham’s interactive concert series for young children, Baby Got Bach, is recognized by parents, media and the music community as a significant force in music education and entertainment for pre-schoolers. The wildly popular series is included in New York Magazine’s “Best of New York” list, and has been cited as “magical” and “a terrific family event” in the press. Baby Got Bach is presented by the 92nd Street Y in New York and Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, and has been presented in St. Louis in past seasons. The 2015-2016 season includes a performance at Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University with Sō Percussion.
Driven by a passion to bring classical music to new audiences, Ms. Shaham has maintained an active parallel career as a respected broadcaster, music writer and lecturer. Ms. Shaham has taught music literature at Columbia University, and contributed articles to Piano Today, Symphony and Playbill magazines and NPR’s Deceptive Cadence blog, and was artist in residence on National Public Radio’s Performance Today.
Orli Shaham was recognized early for her exceptional talents. She won the Gilmore Young Artist Award and the Avery Fisher Career Grant, two prestigious prizes given to further the development of outstanding talent. In addition to her musical education at the Juilliard School, Orli Shaham holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Columbia University and pursued a master’s degree in musicology at Columbia. Orli Shaham lives in New York and St. Louis with her husband, conductor David Robertson, stepsons Peter and Jonathan, and twin sons Nathan and Alex.
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