Lahav Shani

Lahav Shani (Hebrew: להב שני; born 7 January 1989, Tel Aviv) is an Israeli conductor and pianist.

Shani is the son of Michael Shani, a choral conductor.[1][2] He began piano lessons at age 6 with Hannah Shalgi. He continued his piano studies from Arie Vardi at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv. He subsequently studied double bass with Teddy Kling, the former principal bassist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Shani continued further music studies at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" Berlin, where his teachers included Christian Ehwald (orchestral conducting) and Fabio Bidini (piano). Daniel Barenboim has served as a conducting mentor for Shani.

Shani first appeared as a guest pianist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007. In 2010, Zubin Mehta engaged Shani as pianist and assistant conductor for a tour with the Israel Philharmonic.[2] With the Israel Philharmonic, Shani conducted the Israel Philharmonic's opening season concerts in 2013. He has returned each year subsequently as a guest conductor with the orchestra.

Shani won first prize at the 2013 International Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition. In May 2015, he first guest-conducted the Vienna Symphony. In November 2015, he made his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic, as both conductor and pianist, as an emergency substitute for Franz Welser-Möst.[3] In January 2016, the Vienna Symphony announced the appointment of Shani as its next principal guest conductor, as of the 2017-2018 season.[4]

In June 2016, Shani made his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (RPhO), as both guest conductor and piano soloist. On the basis of this single appearance, the RPhO musicians unanimously elected Shani as the next chief conductor of the orchestra, in August 2016, the youngest conductor to be named chief conductor of the RPhO to date.[1] His RPhO contract is effective from the 2018-2019 season, for 12 weeks per season. The appointment marks Shani's first appointment to a full-time orchestral post.

In January 2018, the Israel Philharmonic announced the appointment of Shani as its next music director, effective with the 2020-2021 season. He is to hold the title of music director designate of the orchestra in the 2019-2020 season.[5]

Shani makes his home in Berlin. He continues to give recitals as a solo pianist.[6]


  1. Mischa Spel (2016-08-23). "Jongste chef-dirigent ooit in Rotterdam". NRC Handelsblad. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  2. Amir Mandel (2016-12-19). "Lahav Shani, the Rising Israeli Star in the World of Classical Music". Haaretz. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  3. "Souveränes Debüt mit mitreißendem Gustav Mahler". Die Presse. 2015-11-22. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  4. "Wiener Symphoniker: Lahav Shani wird Erster Gastdirigent der". Die Presse. 2016-01-08. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  5. "Lahav Shani Named Music Director of the IPO" (Press release). Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. 17 January 2018. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  6. Udo Badelt (2016-07-03). "Der Klangdramatiker". Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Principal Conductor, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Succeeded by
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