Lahav Shani is chief conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. He assumed his position in September 2018, succeeding Yannick Nézet-Séguin and becoming the youngest Chief Conductor in the orchestra’s history.
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In the 2020/21 season, Shani succeeded Zubin Mehta as Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In the 2017/18 season, Shani became Principal Guest Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, following a number of appearances with the orchestra since his debut in May 2015, including a major European tour in January 2016. He also works regularly with the Berlin Staatskapelle, both at the Berlin Staatsoper and also for symphonic concerts.
Recent and upcoming highlights as a guest conductor include engagements with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Bamberger Symphoniker and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Shani was born in Tel Aviv in 1989 and started his piano studies aged six with Hannah Shalgi, continuing with Prof. Arie Vardi at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv. He went on to complete his studies in conducting with Prof. Christian Ehwald and piano with Prof. Fabio Bidini, both at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin. Whilst a student he was mentored by Daniel Barenboim. In 2013 he won First Prize in the Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition in Bamberg. June 2016 saw Lahav Shani’s debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra as a conductor and as a piano soloist; his appointment as Chief Conductor from 2018 was announced two months later.
As a pianist Shani made his solo recital debut at the Boulez Saal in Berlin in July 2018. He has play- directed piano concerti with many orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Shani also has considerable experience performing chamber music appearing at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, the Cologne Philharmonie and the Verbier Festival. In 2019, Warner released a CD with piano trios by Tchaikovsky and Dvořák which Shani recorded together with Renaud Capuçon and Kian Soltani.