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