Future Music Director Announced: Lahav Shani

Lahav Shani is appointed Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

At age 29, the Israeli conductor and pianist becomes the second ever Music Director of the IPO



The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra announced the appointment of Lahav Shani as its Music Director, beginning in the orchestra’s 2020-2021 season. In the 2019-20 season, he will have the title Music Director Designate. The 29-year-old Israeli conductor and pianist will succeed Zubin Mehta, the IPO’s legendary Music Director, who was appointed to the position in 1969. 

Concurrently, Shani will hold the position of Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands, a position he assumes in September 2018, succeeding Yannick Nezet-Seguin. He also serves as Principal Guest Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

Lahav Shani says, “It is an enormous honor for me to be appointed as Music Director following such a huge figure as Zubin Mehta. This orchestra shaped my musical development from a very early age and my close relationship with the orchestra has been a constant thread in my artistic life. I look forward immensely to the years ahead.


About Lahav Shani

Shani began his relationship with the IPO as a solo pianist when he was just 16 years old. In October 2013, just after he won first prize at the Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition in Bamberg, Germany, the IPO invited him to conduct its season-opening concerts. Globes, reviewing one of the performances, wrote that “this concert will be remembered as a dizzying, perhaps even historic event in the history of the Israel Philharmonic.“ Since then, he has appeared regularly with the IPO each year, both as a conductor and a pianist, and in December 2016, he conducted the final concert of the IPO’s 80th birthday celebrations.

Shani was born in Tel Aviv in 1989. He started his piano studies at age six with Hannah Shalgi, and continued with Professor Arie Vardi at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv Univesity. He then went on to complete his studies in conducting with Professor Christian Ehwald and piano with Professor Fabio Bidini, both at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin. While a student, he was mentored by Daniel Barenboim. 

Recent and upcoming highlights as guest conductor  include engagements with many leading international  orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Staatskapelle, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra amongst others.


Read the Press Release (1/17/2018)