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Lahav Shani, Music Director

The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair

Lahav Shani is Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic from 2020. Since his conducting debut with the orchestra in October 2013, he has conducted it every season. His close relationship with the Israel Philharmonic began in his youth, when he performed as pianist in a Youth Concert, and in 2007 he appeared as soloist under the baton of Zubin Mehta. He went on to play regularly with the orchestra as a pianist and double bassist.

In 2013, Lahav Shani rose to fame after winning the prestigious Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition in Bamberg. Since 2018, he has been serving as Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the youngest conductor to hold the position in the orchestra’s history. From 2017 to 2020, he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

He has appeared as guest conductor with the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw,  Budapest Festival Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, Orchestre de Paris, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Swedish Philharmonic and Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra. He also works regularly with the Staatskapelle Berlin, both in opera productions and symphonic concerts.

Born in Tel Aviv in 1989, Lahav Shani began his piano studies at age six with Hannah Shalgi and continued at the Thelma Yellin High School. He studied with Prof. Arie Vardi at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv University. He completed his studies at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler, Berlin, where he studied conducting with Prof. Christian Ehwald and piano with Prof. Fabio Bidini. He was mentored by Daniel Barenboim during his studies.

In July 2018 he made his piano recital debut at the Boulez Saal in Berlin. He has appeared as solo pianist under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta and Valery Gergiev with many orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw, Vienna Philharmonic, Mariinsky Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin and Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra. An experienced chamber musician, he is a regular performer at the Verbier Festival, and has also appeared at the Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival and the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival.