Gil Shaham, who plays the “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius from 1699, has often been compared to greats such as Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin and Itzhak Perlman because of his flawless technique and warm tone. He has enjoyed an artistic partnership with the Berliner Philharmoniker since his debut in 1988.
Gil Shaham, born in Illinois in 1971 and raised in Israel, began his violin studies at the age of seven at the Rubin Academy of Music under Samuel Bernstein. In 1980 he changed to Chaim Taub, who arranged for him to meet Isaac Stern, Nathan Milstein, Henryk Szeryng and Jaime Laredo. He made his debut with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra at the age of 10, soon followed by a solo appearance with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Zubin Mehta. In 1982, Gil Shaham won first prize at Israel’s Claremont Competition and went on to study at New York’s Juilliard School of Music under Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang. Today, the violinist, who won the coveted Avery Fisher Prize in 2008 and was named Instrumentalist of the Year by [Musical America] in 2012, appears regularly with the world’s leading orchestras (New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco Symphonies, Vienna Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra). He has received numerous awards for his over 30 CD recordings, including the Grammy, the Grand Prix du Disque, the Diapason d’Or and the Gramophone Editor’s Choice.