The Gustav Mahler conducting competition in Bamberg – which, in 2004, shoved Gustavo Dudamel blinking into the limelight – was won last night by Lahav Shani, 24.
Joint second prize went to Tung-Chieh Chuang (Taiwan), 30, and David Danzmayr (Austria), 33.
The winner gets 20,000 Euros, a round of engagements and a posse of agents chasing him all over the place. The other two get half as much.
Bio: Tel Aviv born, Lahav Shani took his first piano lessons aged six from Hanna Shalgi, then studied the double bass with Teddy Kling, and the piano with Arie Vardi at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv. In 2009 he began a course in orchestral conducting under Christian Ehwald at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin, and since 2012 he has also studied piano at the Academy with Fabio Bidini. He has attended master classes with András Schiff and Claude Frank, among others. He has been awarded various scholarships and has won prizes in several competitions. As soloist he has performed with, for example, the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta in 2007, and in 2010 he joined the Orchestra on its tour of the Far East as double bassist, piano soloist and assistant conductor. He has also played double bass in other orchestras, under Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel and Kurt Masur. In 2011 he made his own concert debut as conductor in Berlin’s Konzerthaus.