What Lahav Shani did next

The incoming music director of the Israel Philharmonic last night played piano in the Beethoven triple concerto alongside Renaud Capucon (violin) and Kian Soltani (cello), conducted by Vasily Petrenko.

After the break, in Beethoven’s fifth symphony, Capucon and Soltani played in their respective string sections while Lahav Shani played double-bass.


Such a blast of fresh air say those who were present.


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  • Didn’t know Lahav Shani played the double-bass. Now it makes even more sense to me why he must be and actually is the right and most natural successor to Israel Phil’s outgoing music director.

    • Also good fit for the Boston Symphony, at least with regard to the elderly attendees who remember Koussevitzky.

      • Except that SK’s long tenure in Boston ended nearly seven decades ago, unlike in Israel Phil’s case where LS is ZM’s immediate successor.

  • Yo Yo Ma too has or had been joining orchestras after appearing as a soloist. Here he can be seen with the Philadelphia under Muti in Brahms’ 1st symphony.

    With Lahav Shani at the IPO I would think it makes even more sense, because he is not just a visitor.

    Questions to orchestral players or conductors: is it really as cool as it seems? To what extent can celebrity soloists energize the orchestra, as opposed to “making noise” and not really belonging? I really don’t know.

    • It is all of those things: initially cool and at times energizing, yet also somewhat distracting indeed – for the performers as well as for the audience. To what extent and in which proportion depends on circumstances: the orchestra being “invaded” by a “foreign” body, the piece being performed, and of course how good the soloist in question is as orchestral player and how he/she is perceived by the musicians around him/her.

      • It strikes me as kind of cool, as long as it’s cast as an act of respect and collegiality (or just wanting to play the piece), and not just deigning to sit in as a glorified extra with the orchestral rank-and-file.

        In all my years of concertgoing I’ve only seen it happen once (Nathaniel Rosen sitting in on The Planets after playing Saint Saens #1 in Seattle), so I’m not sure it’s a worrisome trend. Of course Rosen had been principal in Pittsburgh so knew his way around an orchestra. And I assume most soloists had enough orchestral experience at some point that they could manage just fine.

        Though I recall reading (I think in Harry Ellis Dickson’s classic “Gentlemen, More Dolce, Please”) about Fritz Kreisler sitting in with an orchestra sometime, and saying he constantly got lost. Different skill set.

        • Your assumption is probably incorrect: as far as I know, most current and recent soloists never had much meaningful experience playing in a fine orchestra. In fact, that is precisely the reason that some of them are curious enough to give it a try once in a while.

          • If they studied at any conservatory, they probably played in the school orchestra. Hillary Hahn played in the Curtis Orchestra, for example. Though IIRC Guy Braunstein had never played in any orchestra before he became CM in Berlin.

          • Lahav Shani played a lot with a great orchestra,The Divan,conducted by Barenboim.
            Same is Soltani.
            And,Capusson played a lot with Abado at the Chamber orchestra of Europe.
            Today,more conductors have a lot of orchestral playing experience. For example Dudamel,Steffens,Braunstein etc.

          • It is a different story with conductors, but most of successful soloists start their solo careers as teenagers and therefore simply have no time for any sort of meaningful experience in an adult orchestra of professional quality.

  • I remember Tabea Zimmerman, when she stayed in Jerusalem with her late husband, David Shallon, used to sit in the 3rd row of violas in the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra concerts.
    From Memory Lane: when I was a teenager in Jerusalem: Summer of 1973. A youth orchestra conducted by the very-old Pablo Casals. Issac Stern and Alexander Schneider sitting among the very young string players during rehearsals. Shlomo Mintz, aged about 16 was the concertmeister. Schubert Unfinished, if I remember. Unforgettable!

  • A maestro who plays a double bass! The double bass part of Beethoven 5th is very very impressive. I heard that Beethoven was inspired by charismatic Dragonetti and wrote it. I don’t play a double bass but I often watch the master class video. It’s supreme! I like the bass instruments(tuba, basson) but I have never heard of maestros playing them.

      • Maybe I wasn’t clear enough. What I wanted to know was about the maestros who played a tuba or basson (I think there is no double bass mania who doesn’t know Koussevitzky).

  • In today’s concert (same program) the soloists did not join the orchestra for Beethoven’s 5th. The concert itself was pure joy: Soltani is rapidly becoming one of the world’s leading Cellists and reminded me Janos Starker in his prime.

  • All the 3 players are wonderful,at the highest music standards.
    It is wonderful to see 3 young people from different nations and different religions playing together so beautiful.
    Once again,music is the best language to connect people.

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