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Internationally acclaimed violinist Shaham to take the stage for HBPA

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Violinist Gil Shaham, one of the most sought-after artists in the world, will present the second concert in the 2007-08 Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts Series. Accompanying him is another internationally renowned artist, pianist Akira Eguchi.

Shaham will appear Saturday, Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall on the Bethel College campus.

“Gil Shaham is one of the top three to five classical violinists in the world,” said Matthew Schloneger of Hesston College, director of HBPA.

“Getting him for this series is the equivalent of landing one of the Three Tenors to do a solo concert in North Newton. A grant from the NEA allowed us to pay a fee that would have been unreachable otherwise. This is a great catch for Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts – a concert not to be missed.”

Shaham is in international demand for concerto appearances with celebrated orchestras and conductors, as well as for recital and ensemble appearances on the great concert stages and at many prestigious festivals. His 2006-07 season highlights include appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony, Houston Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and U.S. tours with both the Chicago Symphony and Orpheus. In addition to recital tours in Europe and Japan, he appears abroad with the orchestras of Berlin, Copenhagen and Moscow and with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as part of their 70th anniversary concerts.

In addition to his many orchestral engagements, Shaham regularly tours in recital with Eguchi, and also enjoys musical collaboration with members of his family, including his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, his sister, pianist Orli Shaham, and his brother-in-law, conductor David Robertson.

Among Shaham’s more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs are a number of best sellers in the United States and abroad. These recordings have earned awards including multiple Grammys, a Grand Prix du Disque, Diaposon d’Or and Gramophone Editor’s Choice. Shaham’s most recent recordings have been produced for his own label Canary Classics: the Faure Album (with Akira Eguchi), the Prokofiev Album (with Orli Shaham) and Mozart in Paris.

Shaham was born in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., and moved with his parents to Israel where he began violin studies at age 7 with Samuel Bernstein of the Rubin Academy of Music. In 1981, while studying with Haim Taub in Jerusalem, the 10-year-old Shaham made debuts with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic. In 1982, after taking first prize in Israel’s Claremont Competition, he became a scholarship student at Juilliard. He has also studied at Columbia University.

Shaham was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990. He plays the 1699 “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius. He lives in New York City with his wife and their two children.

The HBPA appearance of Gil Shaham with Akira Eguchi is presented in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes a great nation deserves great art, as well as the cities of Hesston and North Newton, Excel Industries/Hustler Turf Equipment and area patrons and businesses.

Ticket prices for Gil Shaham range from $14 to $17 with discounts available for students and senior citizens. Three- and four-ticket packages for the remainder of the HBPA season, including this concert, are still available as well. Call (620) 327-8158 or (316) 284-5205 Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for reservations or to inquire about ticket packages.

Other artists appearing in this season’s HBPA series include Opera Kansas with Keith Jurosko presenting A Most Ingenious Paradox: The Topsy-Turvy World of Gilbert & Sullivan, Friday, Feb. 8, 2008; the Wailin’ Jennys, Thursday, March 6, 2008; and the Boston Brass, Thursday, March 27, 2008. Performances take place in either Memorial Hall on the Bethel College campus or Hesston Mennonite Church at 309 S. Main in Hesston on the Hesston College campus.

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