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Classical 101

Pandemic Allowed Violinist Gil Shaham To Innovate And Reflect

Classical 101's Jennifer Hambrick (left) interviews violinist Gil Shaham (right).
WOSU
Classical 101's Jennifer Hambrick (left) interviews violinist Gil Shaham (right).

The renowned violinist Gil Shaham gave his first in-person performances since last fall right here in Columbus this week. While in town, he stopped by the Classical 101 studio to talk about what his work as a concert violinist has been like during a year of travel restrictions and canceled performances due to the pandemic.

In this interview below, Shaham talks about what he’s been doing during the pandemic – the innovative projects he’s been working on, the unexpected benefits of a year with markedly fewer concert obligations and the special role music has played for him and his family in a turbulent year.

“Ironically, there was something positive about being able to slow down and reflect,” Shaham said. “I think a lot of us got to do a lot of soul searching and reflecting on our lives and our choices, and who we want to be, and who we want to help, and our lives and what impact we want to have. And personally, I loved hanging around my family for this whole year.”

Shaham and his wife, the noted violinist Adele Anthony, have three children, all of whom play musical instruments. This year there’s been more music in their home, Shaham said, as all of them have spent more time practicing their instruments, learning new pieces of music and generally taking comfort in their favorite art form.

“Music is life-affirming, and music is love. That’s how we felt in our house,” Shaham said.

And as in-person concerts are again starting to appear on calendars, Shaham shared how his future concert schedule is shaping up and why he calls this pandemic year “an amazing time to be an artist.”

Classical 101's Jennifer Hambrick Interviews Violinist Gil Shaham