He conducted Radetzky March. The orchestra played another tune…

He conducted Radetzky March. The orchestra played another tune…


norman lebrecht

January 08, 2018

This was yesterday at the Rotterdam Philharmonic, which is kicking off its centenary year.

Lahav Shani came back on stage to give a Strauss sweetmeat as an encore. But the orchestra knew it was his birthday, his 29th.

And now so does everyone else.



  • David says:

    That’s a really nice moment.

    I hope they played Radetzky after this.

  • Marc Parella says:

    Reminds me of Night at the Opera and the “Let’s go out to the ballgame” scene.

    • Elisabeth Matesky says:

      How absolutely lovely and glorious of the great Rotterdam Philharmonic!!! It says
      as much about Lehav Shani and even more about the hearts of the members of
      Holland’s wonderful Rotterdam Philharmonic!!! (Having known and worked with
      Hans Vonk, a premier Dutch born Conductor, & former Conductor of Rotterdam, in Aram Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto, on the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s Subscription series) I can attest to the pedigreed Legacy of the Conductor’s of the Rotterdam Philharmonic! As is said in America – “If you make it in New York, you’ve made it in America”, and in this vein, allow an American Violinist to state,
      “If you make it in Rotterdam, you’ve made it in Holland & parts much further” !!!

      Happy Twenty Ninth to Lehav Shani from Chicago, USA ~

      Elisabeth Matesky

      • Harvey Bordowitz says:

        Harvey Bordowitz says:

        Dear Elisabeth Matesky,

        How beautiful your words are! I have worked with Lahav Shani, with enormous pleasure. He is a gentleman, a gentle man, and a musician right down to his very fingertips.

        Happy 29th, dear friend and colleague.


        • Elisabeth Matesky says:

          Dear Harvey Bordowitz ~

          Your lovely Reply was most uplifting and I gather you must be in the great Rotterdam Philharmonic, yes or no!! Excuse my lack of knowledge of the full
          orchestral roster, but the Happy Birthday “March” was, indeed, an outpouring
          of respect and love for your new Music Director, Lehav Shani ~ Long may this musical marriage Live!!

          Elisabeth Matesky / Chicago

          • Harvey Bordowitz says:

            Dear Elisabeth,

            No, I’m not connected to the Rotterdam Phil. I was, in fact, the founding music director and conductor of the Herzliya Chamber Orchestra in Israel, which I led for 35 years.

            Upon hearing Lahav Shani (with his pianist’s hat on) playing the Tchaikovsky first con., I immediately invited him to play the solo part with us in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zcd6A97GCIQ
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PU-O4Po0HA .)

            He is not only a first class pianist and conductor, but personally modest and congenial. (Quite a combination in our profession, no?)

            Best wishes,


        • Iain Scott says:

          Lehav Shani was a guest conductor of the RSNO last season and before he walked on stage I thought uhuh. The orchestra were all on stage playing parts of the Dvorak Carnival overture-something they only ever did when Neeme Jarvi was Principal Conductor so I did wonder.
          Then he came on stage and there was an explosion of energy, and of course musicianship. Nice to see a rising star.

      • Rob Groen says:

        Hans Vonk was Music Director in Holland of The Hague Residentie Orchestra and Radio Philharmonic.
        Edo de Waart was for many years the Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic; a great orchestra indeed!

        • J. Froberger says:

          Rob is right. Hans Vonk was not the music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, but he was a very regularly guest-conductor (and very beloved) in Rotterdam.
          I will never forget his “all-Stravinsky” program he did a few years before his dead.
          A great conductor and, of course, a phenomenal orchestra. Beautiful times ahead with Shani as music director!!

        • Elisabeth Matesky says:

          Thank you, Rob Groen, for your corrections which are most appreciated so all here on slippeddisc.com will know which Dutch Orchestra’s the late Hans Vonk
          conducted and those which have had Edo de Waart as Music Director, whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since the 1980’s when he was Music Director of
          the San Francisco Symphony, and currently, Music Director of the Milwaukee
          Symphony in Milwaukee, Wisconsin ~ a very culturally discerning City just up the
          road from us (in Chicago) housing a great Concert Venue, Uhlein Hall, which
          has hosted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in what was a Monthly Musical Series of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with our taking the train up, and eating at fabled Milwaukee restaurant’s w/ ‘the guys’ (Principal Horn, Dale Clevenger; Principal Oboe, Ray Still; Principal Trumpet, Adolph ‘Bud’ Herseth; Piccolo virtuoso, Wally Kajala; Oboist, Michael Henig; Principal ‘Cellist, Frank Miller; & several Co Concertmaster’s, Sydney Weiss, Victor Aitay, Sam Magad, and Sir Georg Solti, Music Director and our adored Principle Guest Conductor, Carlo Maria Giulini!! Honouring these Great colleagues is my pleasure as for a time, I held membership in ‘the Band’ & played poker with ‘the guys’ back on the train to ‘Chi-town’ after our Milwaukee concerts!

          Although returning to a solo playing career, it was a great honour & pleasure to make music in the midst of the ‘core’ Greats of the CSO, aka, Solti’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra!!

          Again, apologies for incorrect factual listing’s of Conductor’s of your great Dutch Orchestra’s, but this gives younger musicians & music lover’s a chronological
          musical history of several ‘Big League’ “sister” International Orchestra’s ~

          Please accept warm musical greetings from America ~

          Elisabeth Matesky

  • Gaffney Feskoe says:

    Hans Vonk was also music director of the St. Louis Symphony in the US at the time of his untimely death.

    • Elisabeth Matesky says:

      To Gaffney Feskoe ~

      Yes, Hans Vonk was Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, yet few knew of his illness, which was a shock to learn of ~ As a Violin Soloist, I’d
      like to salute him, ‘In Memoriam’, as a wonderful orchestral accompanist in the
      great Aram Khachaturian Violin Concerto, which has numerous ‘sand traps’ for
      Conductor’s and for all of us! Just prior to losing my beloved father & principle teacher, Ralph, Hans Vonk, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and I made music
      in Liverpool, with ease of musical give and take, innuendo, and great caring from
      the podium with the baton of Hans Vonk, interweaving and fusing together the Solo Clarinet with Violin Cadenza duo opening, beautifully …

      Having performed this beloved Violin Concerto throughout my life since an L.A. Debut in the Khachaturian with, no less than Jascha Heifetz, in the audience, our performances together so many years later still touch my heart …

      Please accept an American musician’s Condolences, albeit, belatedly, to all Dutch musicians for Holland lost a gem in its Musical Crown when Hans Vonk
      departed this Earth …

      Sending warmed thoughts from afar ~

      Elisabeth Matesky

  • Harry Levy says:

    Such a nice gesture

  • John de Jong says:

    And, yes, the orchestra did play the Radetzky March.
    Whole concert: