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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 Chicago Tribune recently referred to her as “a first-rate Mozartean,” and London's Guardian said Ms. Shaham's playing was "perfection" during her recent Proms debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Orli Shaham has performed with the Boston, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego and Utah Symphonies, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic, Bilbao Symphony, Orchestra della Toscana, Orchestre National de Lyon, Taiwan Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Malaysian Philharmonic. A frequent guest at summer festivals, she has performed at Tanglewood, Ravinia, Verbier, Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Caramoor, Spoleto, Bravo Vail, Music Academy of the West, Orcas Island, Amelia Island and Peninsula music festivals.
Ms. Shaham has given recitals in North America, Europe and Asia at such renowned concert halls as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Frankfurt's Alte Oper, and the Herkulessaal in Munich, and has worked with many eminent conductors including Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Roger Norrington, Christopher Hogwood, David Robertson, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano and Gerard Schwarz, among others.
A highlight of Orli Shaham’s international performance schedule in 2012-2013 is the east- and west-coast premieres of a piano concerto written for her by the acclaimed American composer Steven Mackey, with the New Jersey Symphony conducted by Jacques Lacomb and the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by David Robertson. Ms. Shaham continues her role as curator and performer in the Pacific Symphony’s chamber music series in Costa Mesa, California, as well as her role as host of the public radio series America’s Music Festivals, a two-hour weekly program broadcast on more than 100 stations.
Orli Shaham’s highly acclaimed classical concert series for young children, Baby Got Bach, is in its third season, now presented by the 92nd Street Y in New York City, and has expanded to venues in St. Louis and Aspen. Designed for preschoolers, Baby Got Bach provides hands-on activities with musical instruments, and concepts and concert performances that promote good listening skills.
Orli Shaham’s recordings released in 2012 include a CD of Hebrew Melodies (Canary Classics), recorded with her brother, the violinist Gil Shaham (to be released in late fall); a recording of the Brahms Horn Trio and Schubert’s lied Auf dem Strom (Albany) featuring the acclaimed principal French hornist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Richard King; and Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals with pianist Jon Kimura Parker and the San Diego Symphony (San Diego Symphony).
Driven by a passion to bring classical music to new audiences, Orli Shaham maintains an active parallel career as a respected broadcaster, music writer and lecturer. In 2005, she began a collaboration with Classical Public Radio Network as the host of "Dial-a-Musician," a feature she created especially for the radio network. Her program hosted over 60 guests including composer John Adams, pianist Emanuel Ax and, and soprano Christine Brewer. Orli Shaham has taught music literature at Columbia University, and contributed articles to Piano Today, Symphony and Playbill magazines and NPR’s Deceptive Cadence blog. Ms. Shaham has served as artist in residence on National Public Radio’s Performance Today.
Orli Shaham was recognized early for her prodigious talents. She received her first scholarship for musical study from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation at age five to study with Luisa Yoffe at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. By age seven, she traveled to New York with her family to begin study with Nancy Stessin, and became a scholarship student of Herbert Stessin at The Juilliard School a year later. She has also 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, Orli Shaham holds a degree in history from Columbia University. Orli Shaham lives in New York and St. Louis with her husband, conductor David Robertson, stepsons Peter and Jonathan, and kindergartner twins Nathan and Alex.