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Just in: Israeli wins Dude-maker competition

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.



lahav shani

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.

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  1. itrinkkeinwein says:

    Another Tel Aviv conductor, Asher Fisch, has been doing terrific work lately. Strongly built, taut readings of “Don Carlos” for instance — not easy!

    We talk about these kids and then often overlook the mid-career guys, except for the handful with recording contracts. That’s all wrong. At the other end, we pay too much attention to names “made” in the 1970s and 1980s, in the last hurrah of big studio recordings, and those guys are now in their 70s and 80s (!), for the most part contributing little of interest.

    • itrinkkeinwein says:

      Correction: he’s from Jerusalem. And a great talent, at 54 years of age.

  2. Mazel tov! Let’s hope for the best……manager, publicist (me), record contract, gigs and sponsors!

  3. In fact, I’m proud to say that my new agency has an agreement with Lahav. I became aware of his phenomenal talent some time ago and we’ve been quietly working together for about a year. I say ‘quietly’ because he is a very intelligent musician who wanted to focus on his studies until the time was right, and I saw our role in this case as protective and, while we drew various people’s attentions to him it has all been about giving him the space to develop. It does rather feel as though the classical music world needs a bit of that from time to time. We all look forward to a fabulous career and more important, the emergence of a great artist.

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