After master violinist Gil Shaham stepped in recently as a last-minute soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra at Carnegie Hall to perform Brahms's Violin Concerto, Anthony Tommasini commented in the New York Times: "The performance, put together with scant rehearsal time, was rhapsodic and compelling." Brahms's masterpiece is just one of several cornerstones of the concerto repertoire that the violinist -- Musical America's Instrumentalist of the Year -- revisits during his busy summer season. He will reprise the work with the Suwon Symphony Orchestra in Korea, but not before undertaking Mendelssohn's concerto with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, for the season-opening gala of the Caramoor Music Festival, and then Beethoven's concerto, at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony and at the Blossom Music Festival with the Cleveland Orchestra. Versatile as ever, Shaham also continues his long-term exploration of "Violin Concertos of the 1930s" with Benjamin Britten's contribution to the genre at the Aspen Music Festival. Aspen has been the violinist's home-away-from-home for many consecutive summers now; this year he also performs chamber music there (Mendelssohn's Octet), as he will at the Music Academy of the West, where he collaborates on Brahms's Horn Trio, gives master classes and lessons, and performs a solo recital. Finally, capping the summer season, Shaham joins composer-conductor John Williams at the Los Angeles Philharmonic to celebrate "John Williams: Maestro of the Movies" for two nights at the Hollywood Bowl.
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