She is a graduate of the Horace Mann School in Riverdale, New York, and of Columbia University. She also studied at the Juilliard School, beginning in its Pre-college Division and continuing while a student at Columbia.
Orli Shaham performs recitals and appears with major orchestras throughout the world. She was awarded the Gilmore Young Artist Award in 1995 and the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1997. Her appearances with orchestras include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Detroit and Atlanta Symphonies, Orchestre National de Lyon, National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Orchestra of La Scala (Milan), Orchestra della Toscana (Florence), and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.
In November 2008, she began her tenure as artistic advisor to the Pacific Symphony and curator of their "Cafe Ludwig" chamber music series.
Orli Shaham has a radio feature carried by Classical Public Radio Network called, "Dial-a-Musician,", in which she calls expert colleagues to answer listener questions. She has interviewed more than forty artists to date, including John Adams, Emanuel Ax, Natalie Dessay, Christine Brewer, Colin Currie, and others.
In 2003, Shaham married David Robertson, then Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and became stepmother to his sons from his second marriage, Peter and Jonathan. She and Robertson are the parents of twin sons Nathan Glenn and Alex Jacob, born in New York City on Saturday, September 15, 2007.
- Obituary for Jacob Shaham, Columbia Record, Vol. 20, No. 26, 28 April 1995.
- Timothy Mangan (2008-10-31). "Orli Shaham arrives at Cafe Ludwig". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
- "Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra's Music Director, David Robertson, and Wife Have Twin Boys" (Press release). Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. 17 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-19.