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Violinist To Perform Bach

SANTA FE, N.M. — Gil Shaham’s solo violin recital on Tuesday night is one that Santa Fe Concert Association’s executive and artistic director Joseph Illick anticipates with great excitement.

“I pursued bringing him here,” Illick explained. “This is one of the biggest deals of the Santa Fe Concert Association’s 75th season. Gil is such a happy, humorous and unassuming man. When he puts a violin under his chin, it’s magic.”

Not only did Illick get his wish for being able to present Shaham this season, but the world-renowned violinist offered to play works by Bach.

If you go
WHAT: Santa Fe Concert Association presents violinist Gil Shaham
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco St.
COST: $20-$72
CONTACT: 505-988-1234

“He proposed the repertoire,” said Illick. “I would have been quite happy if he offered to play something other than Bach, but the pieces on Tuesday night’s program are Gil’s signature works.”

Shaham will play “Partita No. 2 in D Minor,” “Partita No, 3 in E Major” and “Sonata No. 3 in C Major” during the Nov. 8 performance in the Lensic Performing Arts Center. As Illick says, “it’s just Gil on a bare stage.”

Born in Illinois in 1971, Shaham moved to Israel with his parents and began violin studies at the Rubin Academy of Music. At the age of 10, he debuted with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic. The following year, he moved back to the U.S. to study at The Juilliard School in New York. Winning the 1990 Avery Fisher Career Grant launched his career.

Shaham has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name and a résumé that includes a PBS appearance last May with Yo-Yo Ma, Emmanuel Ax, Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic for Carnegie Hall’s 120th anniversary concert, where he performed Beethoven’s “Triple Concerto.”

While Shaham has an affinity for Bach and is performing his works during his fall recital tour, he also delves into the works of many other composers. This season he continues playing violin concertos of the 1930s, which includes pieces by Barber, Prokofiev, Hartmann, Berg and Stravinsky, with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, New World Symphony and the orchestras of New York, London and Atlanta.

Shaham also is spending time in the recording studio this fall to collaborate with his sister, pianist Orli Shaham, on a new recording of traditional and modern Jewish music. The CD, which is due to be released in January, features the world-premiere recording of Israeli composer Avner Dorman’s piece “Niggunim.”