Critical Acclaim

With the Singapore Symphony Orchestra

“His voluminous tone easily filled the hall, rising all the way up to the circle seats. This was matched by his natural virtuosity and barely contained enthusiasm, which quickly raised the temperature and spirit of the performance. His solo entry was arresting, later followed by the cadenza which sizzled with white-hot passion.”

“One might be hard-pressed to remember a performance of the Tchaikovsky concerto that oozed such irresistible elan, and the audience responded with equally vociferous applause.”
—Chang Tou Liang, The Straits Times, July 2, 2018

With the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

“Shaham is arguably the highest profile guest of the NJSO season, and on Sunday he showed why his violin playing is in such high demand. Shaham and his 1699 Stradivarius sounded sublime in Brahms’ 1879 classic.”

“The Israeli-American artist displayed his fine technique as well as his warm, lyric take on the crowd-pleasing concerto.”
—James C. Taylor,, June 12, 2018

With the San Francisco Symphony

“Shaham’s treatment of the solo part has grown progressively more ingratiating and soft-hued with time, without losing any of the ardor or expressive urgency on which it depends. In the first movement, he spun out long, intricately arched melodies with unassuming tenderness; the unaccompanied cadenza was a small miracle of shapely grace.”
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, March 23, 2018

“And Gil Shaham was a magnificent soloist in the concerto, bringing vigor and clarity to the outer movements and a certain clipped lyricism to the paired instrumental arias that serve as a double centerpiece.”
—Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, June 21, 2013

With the New World Symphony

“Through most of his performance of the Bartók Violin Concerto No. 2 with the New World Symphony at the Arsht Center in Miami Saturday, Shaham played with the clean style and preternatural bow control for which he is known. But he knew when to bring a touch of Hungarian mountain fiddler to his playing, when he dug in to produce a grinding buzz when the concerto’s rapid passagework reached the violin’s lowest string. With guest conductor Pablo Heras-Casado on the podium, Shaham gave a performance of the 1938 concerto that expressed all of its breadth, from its Romantic melodies to its modernistic rhythms and sizzling virtuosity.”

“He powered through the runs and chords of one of the most difficult concertos in the repertory with astonishing speed and accuracy, while giving these passages an electric energy.”
—David Fleshler, South Florida Classical Review, February 25, 2018

“Shaham always managee [sic] to infuse the most oft-played works with new life and his reading of the Tchaikovsky was no exception. With exceptionally strong teamwork with guest conductor Cristian Macelaru the result was a freshly conceived and exciting performance.”

“From the violin’s initial entrance, Shaham’s burnished tone and impeccable intonation caressed Tchaikovsky’s melodies. The violinist’s aristocrat shaping of the second theme was one of many reinvigorating details that gave the music new life.”

“He brought out the yearning and aching sadness of the Canzonetta, with soft playing that approached a whisper. Shaham was not afraid to bend or stretch a phrase, yet his interpretive choices were always musically astute and never exaggerated. He brought a touch of gypsy paprika to the finale, breezing through the twists and turns with abandon.”
Lawrence Budmen, South Florida Classical Review, January 10, 2016

With the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

“Yet the highlight of the evening was the return of an old CSO friend, Gil Shaham, who provided the most consistent rewards as soloist in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor.”

“There are few violinists before the public whose engaging personality informs their music-making as much as the Urbana native. Shaham’s ebullient presence is well-suited to Mendelssohn’s concerto, arguably the most beloved work in the genre.”
—Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, December 1, 2017

“Shaham’s pure, highly focused tone consistently underlined the lyrical element, treating the opening pages of the central theme and variations as a hushed reverie. Yet he also put across the bravura sections with bristling intensity, and the chromatic astringency was also manifest in Mälkki’s robust, punchy accompaniment. The contrasting sections of the finale always seem to come around one time too many but Shaham and Mälkki made the strongest case for this music, ratcheting up the tension to a blazing coda.”
—Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, April 1, 2016

With the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

“Music director Marin Alsop and the BSO could not have asked for a more eloquent soloist for the noble Beethoven work than Gil Shaham. He drew a veritable feast of tone coloring from his violin, along with abundant subtleties of phrasing.”

“Shaham acknowledged the hearty ovation with a Bach encore that benefited from his deftness of touch, warmth of phrase.”
Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun, June 16, 2017

With the Houston Symphony

“Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists before the public today. The soloist used every inch of available space on the stage, dancing and moving around to interact with the sections in the orchestra. His performance was virtually flawless, with a prodigious technique and silky tone throughout. He made the most difficult passages sound easy, and his free use of the bow rarely produced a compressed tone.”

“First movement modulations and transitions that are potential stumbling blocks were rendered by Shaham with a natural flow. He played the cantabile solo line in the second movement with quiet dignity while maintaining a steady pulse, with the return of the first melody given glorious and ecstatic treatment.”
Lawrence Wheeler, Texas Classical Review, May 20, 2017

With the Boston Symphony Orchestra

“Violinist Gil Shaham’s playing was spectacular, offering a spectrum of emotions and timbres that gave complete commitment to the performance. When not playing, his expressions of rapture while listening to some of the swirling orchestral passages were transporting in themselves.”
—Liane Curtis, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, March 19, 2016

With the Knights

“Violinist and Champaign native Gil Shaham joined the ensemble for a lean, bracing, and playful account of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Shaham and Jacobson shared a common vision and an easy rapport, though the grins and mugging were occasionally distracting. Given the size of the ensemble, it was surprising to hear occasional balance concerns, most notably in the first movement. Shaham was most impressive in the second movement, coaxing a stream of lyrical outpouring from his 1699 “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius.”
—Michael Cameron, Chicago Classical Review, February 19, 2016

With the London Symphony Orchestra

“Either way, this was a performance of engaged eloquence and powerful expressivity that explored the darkness within the score and its hints of both insecurity and aggression. Shaham was technically impeccable, also drawing on an ample range of colour and articulation to encompass the music’s needs while being consistently vividly supported by Vänskä and the LSO players.”
—George Hall, The Guardian, April 14, 2015

With the Vienna Philharmonic

“A ravishing account with Gil Shaham of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s sumptuous Violin Concerto prompted a playful encore, Kreisler’s “Schön Rosmarin,” played by Mr. Shaham and the orchestra.”
Steve Smith, The New York Times, March 17, 2014

With the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

“Then the violinist Gil Shaham was the soloist for a rapturous, powerful performance of Berg’s great Violin Concerto, written in 1935 and dedicated to ‘the memory of an angel.’…Mr. Shaham played the technically daunting violin part of this two-movement concerto with command, clarity and melting sound. He and the inspired orchestra brought richness and majesty even to the wrenching, torturous first half of the second movement. The performance conveyed the state of uneasy peace and solemn resignation that arrives when Berg folds a harmonically daring, strangely consoling Bach chorale into the long, final episode of the piece.”
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, May 19, 2014

Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin

“Grammy award-winner and Musical America’s “Instrumentalist of the Year,” violin virtuoso, Gil Shaham, gave a brilliant, if not impeccable, performance of two Sonatas and two Partitas Dec. 1 at the Lensic Theater.”

“Here more exhilarating playing as Shaham’s  bow arm reminded me of a windmill as he superbly managed the incessant bariolage of rapid sixtheenth notes in the opening Preludio. This was followed by a stately, elegant interpretation of the Gavotte en Rondeau, the Menuets and Bourée which concluded with a spirited Gigue.”
Mary Helen Klare, LA Daily Post, December 13, 2015 

“Shaham’s approach, smooth and often whisperingly quiet, yet dramatic and spontaneous when required, suited the instrument beautifully. He played a great deal with dynamic shadings, which of course would be his own as there are no dynamic markings in Bach’s original scores.”
D.S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal, December 6, 2015

“But if there ever was someone to take on Bach’s masterworks, it is the indefatigable Shaham.”
Hannah Edgar, Chicago Maroon, March 3, 2015

“It’s hardly news that Shaham is an impeccable violinist, one capable of bringing out the mechanics and the majesty of Bach in equal measure. Still, it was great to be startled all over again by the brilliance of his playing, the penetrating power of his interpretations…Shaham produced a clear and beautifully focused tone, even in the busiest passages. Intonation, despite the hothouse environment, held firm. Above all, he offered remarkable subtleties of expression.”
—Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun, February 24, 2014

With the Aspen Chamber Symphony

“The violinist’s usual grace, tonal precision and deft phrasing synchronized perfectly with Kahane’s brisk pace. The unanimity of purpose allowed for delicate moments that breathed between phrases without losing momentum. This is what chamber music is all about, but you don’t always hear it happen with a full orchestra.”
Harvey Steiman, Aspen Times, July 27, 2015 

With the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

“Any one who heard Gil Shaham play the opening melody of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto would be likely to find unforgettable the sound’s distinctive buttery smoothness and golden hues, along with Shaham’s ability to shape phrases with smiling warmth.”
—Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald, June 29, 2015

With the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

“And Shaham is delightful to watch. He radiates joy when he plays—his glowing expression seems to project the idea that in this moment, playing violin really, really well is the Best Thing Ever.”
J Robin Coffelt, TheaterJones, March 22, 2015

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