Ishay Shaer

Piano

Considered one of the leading Israeli pianists of his generation, Ishay Shaer has performed in numerous concerts throughout the world and has won both national and international prizes. His recent performances include, among others, recitals at the London Queen Elizabeth Hall, Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, UK; Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, Poland; deSingel, Belgium; Preston Bradley Hall in Chicago, USA; Sala Sinfonica Pablo Casals in Puerto Rico, Sala Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Teatro Solís, Uruguay. He has taken part in musical events such as  Montreal Bach Festival, Gdansk Music Festival,  Swansea Festival of Music and Arts, Dr Anton Philipszaal piano series (Holland), Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, Sociedad Filarmónica de Lima (Peru), Thessaloniki Dimitria Festival and the Israel Festival. In addition, he has performed as a soloist with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga (Spain), the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt (Germany), the McGill Chamber Orchestra (Canada) and the major Israeli orchestras.

In April 2011, following a direct recommendation Maestro Daniel Barenboim had given to Maestro Zubin Mehta, Mr. Shaer was called on a two days notice to substitute pianist Fazil Say with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. This led to six subsequent concerts in the orchestra's subscription series, four of them at Israel's main concert hall, the 2700-seat Mann Auditorium. Nearly six months later he made his debut at the grand hall of the Tonhalle Zurich, performing with Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne to earn critical acclaim in various media outlets, including the German magazine "Das Orchester": "Embedded in the orchestral sound, almost overshined by playful joy, Ishay Shaer plays Concerto KV 488 in A Major expressively, with a differentiated touch, a soul deep articulation and a thrilling phrasing. A storyteller who knows his Mozart well."

Ishay Shaer was awarded the first prize in the 2006 Newport International Competition in the UK, and a year later won third prize in the "Silvio Bengalli" International Piano Competition in Italy. During 2008 he was awarded three national competitions, among them the prestigious Clairmont prize. In 2009 he was a prizewinner at the International Beethoven Competition in Bonn.

Throughout the years, Shaer has been supported by prestigious organizations, such as the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the Swiss Orpheum Foundation, being included in its promotion programme for young soloists. He began piano studies at the age of 7 with Mrs. Hanna Barzilai and later studied with Dr. Asaf Zohar. He studied at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music of Tel Aviv University (in cooperation with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra) with Prof. Tomer Lev and Prof. Arie Vardi, and finished his Bachelor's degree with distinction. He was also instructed by renowned artists, such as Daniel Barenboim, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Murray Perahia and Matti Raekallio.

In recent years Ishay Shaer has established himself as a reputable chamber music performer. He has played with cellist Mischa Maisky, violinist Liza Ferschtman , Carducci Quartet, Bennewitz Quartet and the RTÉ Contempo Quartet. His arrangement for piano trio of Beethoven's 'The Tempest' piano sonata has garnered praise and was described as "an immeasurably pleasing masterwork… sounded like one of Beethoven's finest trios" by Haaretz newspaper.

Photo by Frances Marshall

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Illustrations: Noam Weiner

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