Israel Philharmonic’s next music director: 29-year-old Lahav Shani

Posted on: January 18, 2018

“The baton is (finally) passing at the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra: Lahav Shani, a 29-year-old Israeli conductor and pianist, will become the orchestra’s next music director in 2020, succeeding Zubin Mehta, 81, who is stepping down after half a century,” writes Michael Cooper in Wednesday’s (1/17) New York Times. “Mr. Mehta … joined the ensemble in 1969 and was appointed music director in 1977 before being named ‘music director for life’ in 1981. Mr. Mehta announced in 2016 that he would step down in 2019, when Mr. Shani will become music director designate. In turning to Mr. Shani, the orchestra opted for a rising star who is well known to its players: He performed with the group as the soloist in a Tchaikovsky piano concerto with Mr. Mehta in 2007, and by 2013 was invited to conduct its season-opening concert. Mr. Shani was elected to the position by ‘a large majority’ of the orchestra’s musicians, Yoel Abadi, the Philharmonic’s chairman, said…. Mr. Shani will become the chief conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra this September (succeeding Yannick Nézet-Séguin) and recently became the principal guest conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, he won first prize at [Germany’s] Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition.”

Posted January 18, 2018

Lahav Shani photo by Marco Borggreve