Violinist Gil Shaham solos in Beethoven's Violin Concerto with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. (source: video frame capture, edited)

A conversation with violinist Gil Shaham: from isolation to concertizing

Mark Gresham | 15 OCT 2020

When violinist Gil Shaham soloed in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto for the recent virtual season-opening concert of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, it was his first time to perform with an orchestra since March. The video was recorded during the weeks before its October 1 debut on the ASO Virtual Stage.


In the same way that I had spoken with ASO music director Robert Spano in advance of that opening concert’s production, I wanted to speak with Shaham after the concert about his experience of performing the Violin Concerto with Spano and the socially-distanced ASO, sans in-person audience, in addition to both his re-emerging concert touring and how he survived the summer under the pandemic.

We were able to connect on October 2 while Shaham was isolated in a hotel in Hanover, Germany in advance of performing concerts there with the NDR Orchestra the next week. Here is some of what he had to say:

 Listen to Mark Gresham’s interview with Gil Shaham

On Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 2pm ET, Shaham will perform a live-streamed concert from the Fraser Performance Studio at WGBH in Boston, Massachusetts, featuring music by Johann Sebastian Bach and three contemporary American composers, in his IDAGIO Global Concert Stage debut. ■