Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Young conductor takes Dudamel's place on the podium.

Lahav Shani (credit: Yossi Zwecker)
Lahav Shani (credit: Yossi Zwecker)
You couldn't make it up. 24-year-old Lahav Shani won the Bamberg Symphony's Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in June 2013, beating 400 applicants and 11 other finalists to the top place. Then Gustavo Dudamel, who won the competition in 2004, was due to return to Bamberg to conduct the orchestra, went and cancelled. Dudamel was replaced by Shani at short notice. The event seems to have gone well, and a short film on YouTube provides interesting footage of Shani conducting along with interviews with him and with a number of seasoned professionals in the orchestra. It makes for interesting watching, and helps explain why an orchestra might play so well for a 24 year old.

Born in Israel, Shani lives in Berlin and is a protege of Daniel Barenboim; Shani was invited to open the 2013/14 season of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra – with seven concerts in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, in which he both conducted Mahler's Symphony No.1 and directed Bach's Concerto for keyboard in D minor from the piano.

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