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Though he knows the music by heart, violinist Gil Shaham strives for a feeling of spontaneity in his performances. In this Articulate exclusive, he tests the acoustics of the Stotesbury Ballroom with a spirited rendition of the Prelude from Bach’s Partita No. 3 in E Major.

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Gil Shaham
Gil Shaham

Gil Shaham is an esteemed violinist who won the 2008 Avery Fisher Prize for outstanding achievement in classical music and has been nominated for eleven Grammy Awards, winning one.

He was born in 1971 in Urbana, IL; his parents were Israeli scientists on fellowships at the University of Illinois. The family returned to Jerusalem when he was 2 and Shaham began playing violin at age 4. By age 10 he had played with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic. In 1989, while still a high school senior, he flew to England as an emergency replacement for revered violinist Itzhak Perlman for a series of concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra. He has since played with many of the world’s major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and the Russian National Orchestra.

Shaham has recorded over three dozen albums. He won the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance in 1999 for American Scene. He teaches at Bard College Conservatory of Music in New York.