Lahav Shani Named Music Director of the IPO

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra announces the appointment of Lahav Shani as its Music Director starting in the 2020-2021 season.

For the 2019-2020 season, Shani will have the title Music Director Designate. The 29-year-old Israeli conductor and pianist will succeed Zubin Mehta, the IPO’s legendary Music Director, who was appointed to the position in 1969.

Concurrently, Shani will hold the position of Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands, a position which he takes up in September 2018 taking over from Yannick Nezet-Seguin. He also serves as Principal Guest Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, starting from the current 2017-2018 season.

Shani began his connection with the IPO as a solo pianist when he was 16 years old. In October 2013, just after he won first prize at the Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition in Germany, the IPO invited him to conduct its season-opening concerts. Since then, he has appeared each year with the IPO, both as a conductor and a pianist. In December 2016 he conducted the final concert of the IPO’s 80th birthday celebrations.

Shani was born in Tel Aviv in 1989 and started his piano studies aged six with Hannah Shalgi at the Givatayim Conservatory. He then studied at the Thelma Yellin High School for the Arts and continued his piano studies with Prof. Arie Vardi at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv. He then went on to complete his studies in conducting with Prof. Christian Ehwald and piano with Prof. Fabio Bidini, both at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin. Whilst a student he was mentored by Daniel Barenboim.

Recent and upcoming highlights as guest conductor include engagements with leading international  orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Staatskapelle, the Philhadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra amongst others.




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