Breaking: Rotterdam Phil appoints Israeli music director, 27

Breaking: Rotterdam Phil appoints Israeli music director, 27


norman lebrecht

August 23, 2016

The successor to Yannick Nézet-Séguin in 2018 will be Lahav Shani.

A bold, high-risk appointment for a major international orchestra, the youngest in the field.

lahav shani

Lahav Shani said: ‘I am over the moon. From the first moment, I felt a rare click with this orchestra. It is so easy to communicate with these musicians, they respond to the smallest sign. Everything I ask of them, I get, and more. And they love to take risks, just like me: never play it safe, always take it to the limit. The possibilities are endless. It doesn’t get any better than that as a conductor.’

lahav shani 2

Lahav Shani won first prize at the 2013 Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition in Bamberg, following in the footsteps of Gustavo Dudamel. He stood in last December with the Vienna Philharmonic, winning ovations for Mahler’s first symphony and much respect from the players. But a trial with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra did not go well, players citing temperamental differences. With Rotterdam, it was all smiles.

Here’s the Rotterdam Phil’s announcement video:


  • mattheos says:

    Good luck. “Dudamel’s footsteps” are the best recommendation…

  • Tim Walton says:

    He conducted some really good CBSO Concerts in Birmingham

  • Nathan Braude says:

    It’s not a high risk appointment it’s a great choice! Lahav is a wonderful conductor…Looking forward to hear him with this orchestra.

  • Rudy Burgmeijer says:

    Well, this is really the spirit of Rotterdam: Give young conductors a chance and it keep the orchestra young and vivid. We had De Waart, Gergiev, Nézet-Séquin and now Shani. I wish him and the orchestra all the best.

  • Suzanne says:

    Congratulations Lahav Shani, congratulations Rotterdam!

  • nathanroie says:

    great musician

  • toohightoosoon says:

    Edo was 32 when he began Rotterdam Music Director tenure.
    Gergiev was 43.
    Even Yannick was over thirty…began tenure at 33.
    Too high, too soon is a problem in this industry. Perhaps some possess remarkable talent and experience by 26 or 27. This is good for news coverage but let’s check back in four years.
    Good luck, Rotterdam.

  • Israel Kastoriano (Israel Philharmonic Orchestra) says:

    I definitely am Lahav Shani’s fan. He is a born conductor.

  • uzi shalev says:

    Congratulations, Lahav Shani!!!
    Great choice, Rotterdam!!!