Gil Shaham emerged in the 1990s as one of the most exciting new young violinists.
Although born in the United States, Shaham emigrated with his parents to Israel. He began studying violin with Samuel Bernstein at the Ruben Academy of Music at age seven. Almost immediately he received a scholarship from the American Israel Cultural Foundation, which was renewed annually He made his debuts with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic in 1981. The next year he took first prize in Israel¹s Claremont Competition. Also in 1982 he entered Juilliard School in New York on a scholarship, and also studied at Columbia University.
In 1990 he won the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Since then he has developed as one of the top concert violinist, in demand as a soloist with the leading symphony orchestras and music festivals.
He signed an exclusive contract with the Deutsche Grammophon. With them he has recorded concertos by Bruch, Paganini, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky. His discs of the Barber and Korngold concertos and the two Prokofiev concertos were nominated for Grammies, and he won that award for a solo recital album with André Previn at the keyboard, including a first recording of a new sonata by Previn. He has recorded violin and guitar works of Paganini with Goran Sollscher, and a Dvorak violin disc with his sister, Orli Shaham, as pianist.
He has also recorded Bartók Concerto no 2 and Violin Rhapsodies, and solo works by Schumann, Strauss, Elgar, Ravel, Franck, and Chrysler.
In 1998 he made a tour of China, including appearances with the symphony orchestras of Beijing and Shanghai. He plays a famous 1699 Stradivari violin known as the "Countess Polling." He lives in New York with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony. ~ Joseph Stevenson