Gil Shaham

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Gil Shaham
Born (1971-02-19) February 19, 1971 (age 53)
Urbana, Illinois, U.S.
Years active1981–present

Gil Shaham (Hebrew: גיל שחם; born February 19, 1971) is an American violinist of Jewish descent.


Gil Shaham was born in Urbana, Illinois, while his Israeli parents were on an academic fellowship at the University of Illinois. His father, Jacob, was an astrophysicist[1] and his mother, Meira Diskin, was a cytogeneticist. His sister is the pianist Orli Shaham. His brother, Shai Shaham, is the head of the Laboratory of Developmental Genetics at Rockefeller University.[2]

Gil Shaham is a graduate of the Horace Mann School in New York. When he was two years old, the family moved to Jerusalem, where he started violin lessons at the Rubin Academy of Music aged seven, winning annual scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.[3] He subsequently attended Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado, studying with Dorothy DeLay and Jens Ellermann,[3] and won a scholarship to the Juilliard School. He and his sister Orli also studied at Columbia University.[3]

Shaham lives in New York City and teaches at Bard College Conservatory of Music. He is married to violinist Adele Anthony. They have three children.[3]

Music career[edit]

Shaham debuted as a soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony at age 10. He performed with the Israel Philharmonic—Israel's foremost orchestra—less than a year later. Shaham won first prize in the Claremont Competition at age 11, and was admitted to Juilliard, where he studied with Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang.

Shaham's career advanced in 1989 when, while a senior at Horace Mann, he replaced an ailing Itzhak Perlman to perform the Bruch and Sibelius violin concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall.[4]

Shaham won the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and the Premio Internazionale of the Accademia Chigiana in Siena in 1992.

Shaham has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

Shaham has played the "Comtesse de Polignac", a Stradivarius violin of 1699 on loan from the Stradivarius Society of Chicago since 1989.


External audio
audio icon You may hear Gil Shaham with Goran Sollscher performing works by Niccolo Paganini in 1992
Here on



  1. ^ "Physicist Jacob Shaham Dies at 52". Columbia University Record. 20 (26). April 28, 1995.
  2. ^ "Shai Shaham on creativity in science and music". The Incubator. 11 October 2016. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Gil Shaham Biography". Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  4. ^ Hanani, Hannah (May 14, 1989). "The Gil Shaham Story: A Star Is Born, Maybe : Violinist, 18, replaces an ailing Itzhak Perlman". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2023-11-15.
  5. ^ a b c Rooney, Dennis D. "Instrumentalist of the Year 2012". Musical America. Retrieved January 22, 2017.

External links[edit]