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ARTIST PROFILE

Gil Shaham and Akira Eguchi

SAINT PAUL SUNDAY APPEARANCES

BIOGRAPHY

Violinist Gil Shaham is internationally recognized by audiences and many noted critics as one of today’s most virtuosic and engaging classical artists. He is sought after throughout the world for concerto appearances with celebrated orchestras as well as for recital and ensemble appearances on the great concert stages and at the most prestigious festivals.

Gil Shaham won a Grammy Award for his 1998 recital album “American Scenes” with André Previn at the piano. His most recent release is “The Fauré Album” (Canary Classics/Artemis Classics), featuring the first violin sonata (with pianist Akira Eguchi) and several shorter works. Other recent releases are “Schubert for Two” with guitarist Göran Söllscher; a Brahms disc with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic; John Williams’ “Treesong” with the Boston Symphony; Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” with Myung-Whun Chung, Mischa Maisky and Paul Meyer; and “Devil’s Dance,” a disc of showpieces with pianist Jonathan Feldman. His 1999 recording of Bartok’s Second Concerto with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony earned two Grammy nominations.

During the 2003-04 season Mr. Shaham toured Europe with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach, performed with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas (both at Davies Hall and Carnegie Hall) and with the Philharmonia and Bavarian Radio orchestras, among other ensembles. His recital schedule featured performances in Paris, Milan, Brussels, Madrid and New York (Avery Fisher Hall), as well as performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Gil Shaham has recorded concertos by Mendelssohn, Bruch, Paganini, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius with Giuseppe Sinopoli leading the Philharmonia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic; Wieniawski’s Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 and Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen” with Lawrence Foster and the London Symphony; and solo discs devoted to music by Schumann, Richard Strauss, Elgar, Ravel, Franck, Kreisler, Paganini, Saint-Saëns and Sarasate (for Deutsche Grammophon). Other recordings include two collaborations with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” and “Romances for Violin and Orchestra”; “Paganini for Two” with guitarist Göran Söllscher; “Dvorak for Two” with his sister, Orli; “The Fiddler of the Opera,” transcriptions of opera arias; two concerto discs with Andre Previn and the London Symphony, the Barber and Korngold concertos and the Prokofiev concertos, both nominated for Grammy Awards; and “Meeting in Moscow,” a pairing of the Kabalevsky and Glazunov concertos, with Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra.

Mr. Shaham was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1971. In 1973 he moved with his parents to Israel, where at the age of 7 he began violin studies with Samuel Bernstein of the Rubin Academy of Music and was immediately granted annual scholarships by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. In 1981, while studying with Haim Taub in Jerusalem, he made debuts with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic. That same year he began his studies with Dorothy DeLay and Jens Ellerman at Aspen. In 1982, after taking first prize in Israel’s Claremont Competition, he became a scholarship student at Juilliard, where he has worked with Ms. DeLay and Hyo Kang. He has also studied at Columbia University.

Gil Shaham was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990. He plays the 1699 “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius and lives in New York City with his wife, the violinist Adele Anthony, and son, Elijah.

 

Acclaimed for his extraordinary artistry, maturity and intelligence, (New York Times) Akira Eguchi has captivated audiences and critics throughout the world as a piano soloist, chamber musician, harpsichord player and collaborative pianist.

Since making his highly acclaimed New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall in 1992, Mr. Eguchi has performed in the foremost music centers of the United States, Europe, and the Far East. Praised as a "pianist of fluency and rectitude" by The New York Times, his appearances in the United States include Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and Musikverein in Vienna, Barbican Centre in London, Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris. Distinguished for his performances for heads of State, Mr. Eguchi has played for President Clinton presented by Isaac Stern at the White House and for the Emperor and Empress of Japan at Hamarikyu Ashahi Hall in Tokyo. Mr. Eguchi was the featured soloist for The Juilliard Orchestra Asia tour, and has been featured in numerous tours of the United States, France, England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Slovenia, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan, encompassing numerous recitals and concerts with many of those countries' foremost ensembles.

In great demand as a chamber musician, Mr. Eguchi has performed at the Aspen, Ravinia, and Newport festivals in the United States, Nagano-Aspen and Pacific in Japan, the Japan Festival in London, and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. His radio and television credits include performances on WQXR and WNCN in New York, NPR, NHK of Japan, Radio France, BBC, PBS, and NBC, amongst others. Recordings are available from Deutsche Grammophon, Philips, Denon, Marquis Classics, Victor, IDC, BMG, Kosei publishing, and NYS Classics.

His 1st solo CD, Dear America, was selected as one of the best recordings of the month (Recording Arts September, 2002), and acclaimed as if Gershwin's spirit made him play. His newest CD, Legends of The Maestros, released June 2003, was also chosen as one of the best recordings of the month (Recording Arts September, 2003). This CD was recorded at the Carnegie Hall, with the Steinway piano made in 1887, which was originally placed on the stage of the Carnegie Hall of its early era.

Mr. Eguchi is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious William Petchek Award and the William Schuman Prize from The Juilliard School for outstanding achievement and leadership in music, first prize at both the Gina Bachauer International Scholarship Competition and the Brahms Piano Concerto Competition at Juilliard, awards at the International Chamber Music Competition in Paris, and the Aleida Schweitzer Award for the outstanding accompanist at the International Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poland. Also active as a composer, Mr. Eguchi's works include cadenzas for the Mozart Violin Concerto K.216, which was commissioned and performed by Kyoko Takezawa for the Miyazaki Music Festival, and for the Haydn Cello Concerto in C Major, which was commissioned by Ko Iwasaki. In November, '03, Gershwin Piano Selections, arranged by Eguchi will be published from Zen-on.

Born in Tokyo, Mr. Eguchi received a degree in Music Composition from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he subsequently served as a faculty member. Currently living in New York and on the faculty of CUNY Brooklyn College, Mr. Eguchi received his Master's Degree in Piano Performance from The Juilliard School. He has studied with Herbert Stessin, Samuel Sanders, Hitoshi Toyama, Shin Sato, Akira Kitamura, Ichiro Mononobe, and Akiko Kanazawa.