Orli Shaham, guest host

Hometown: Jerusalem, Israel

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Orli Shaham joins From the Top as Guest Host for Show 361, recorded at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine on October 17, 2018.

Meet Orli

A consummate musician recognized for her grace, subtlety and brilliance, Orli Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as one of today’s most gifted pianists. Hailed by critics on four continents, Ms. Shaham is in demand for her prodigious skills and admired for her interpretations of both standard and modern repertoire. The New York Times called her a “brilliant pianist,” The Chicago Tribune recently referred to her as “a first-rate Mozartean” in a performance with the Chicago Symphony, and London’s Guardian said Ms. Shaham’s playing at the Proms was “perfection.”

Orli Shaham has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego and Utah symphony orchestras; and internationally with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bilbao Symphony, Filarmonica della Scala, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, Orchestra della Toscana, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National de Lyon, Stockholm Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Taiwan Philharmonic. A frequent guest at summer festivals, she has performed at Amelia Island, Aspen, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Bravo Vail, Caramoor, La Jolla, Mostly Mozart, Music Academy of the West, Orcas Island, Peninsula, Ravinia, Spoleto, Sun Valley, Tanglewood, and Verbier music festivals.

Ms. Shaham has given recitals in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia at such renowned concert halls as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Symphony Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, the Herkulessaal in Munich and City Recital Hall in Sydney, and has worked with many eminent conductors including Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Roger Norrington, Christopher Hogwood, David Robertson, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, Jaap Van Zweden, Gerard Schwarz, Nicholas McGegan, Hans Graf and Jacques Lacombe among others. In performance she has collaborated with the pianists Emanuel Ax, Joseph Kalichstein, Jon Kimura Parker and Marc-Andre Hamelin, the cellist Lynn Harrell, the violinists Gil Shaham (her brother) and Phillip Setzer, and the sopranos Christine Brewer and Michelle DeYoung, among many others.

Orli Shaham’s interactive concert series for young children, Baby Got Bach, founded by her in 2010, is recognized by parents, media and the music community as a significant force in music education and entertainment for pre-schoolers. The wildly popular series is included in New York Magazine‘s “Best of New York” list, and has been cited as “magical” and “a terrific family event” in the press. The concert programs provide hands-on activities with musical instruments, concepts and concert performances that promote good listening skills, and feature chamber music performances by professional musicians with Ms. Shaham as host and pianist. Baby Got Bach has been presented by the 92nd Street Y in New York, the Aspen Music Festival, and in St. Louis. Following the collaborations with Sō Percussion in 2016, WindSync in 2017, and the Rolston String Quartet in 2018, Baby Got Bach returns to Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University in the 2018/19 season with special guest performers the Westerlies.

Driven by a passion to bring classical music to new audiences, Ms. Shaham has maintained an active parallel career as a respected broadcaster, music writer and lecturer. In 2012 and 2013 she served as the host of “America’s Music Festivals”, a radio program nationally broadcast to over 100 stations. From 2005-2008 she was host of “Dial-a-Musician,” a feature she created especially for The Classical Public Radio Network. The concept of the program was to enhance listeners’ experiences of music and musicians by directing listeners’ questions about classical music to internationally renowned musicians, calling them on the phone to discuss the topic. Ms. Shaham has taught music literature at Columbia University, and contributed articles to Piano TodaySymphony and Playbill magazines and NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence” blog, and was artist in residence on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”.

Orli Shaham was recognized early for her exceptional talents. She received her first scholarship for musical study from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation at age five to study with Luisa Yoffe at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. By age seven, she traveled to New York with her family to begin study with Nancy Stessin, and became a scholarship student of Herbert Stessin at The Juilliard School a year later. She won the Gilmore Young Artist Award and the Avery Fisher Career Grant, two prestigious prizes given to further the development of outstanding talent. In addition to her musical education at the Juilliard School, Orli Shaham holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Columbia University and pursued a master’s degree in musicology from Columbia. Orli Shaham is married to conductor David Robertson, and has two stepsons Peter and Jonathan, and twin sons Nathan and Alex.