Her reputation as a Mozart specialist was on display as her crystaline and lucid touch drew a very Classical sound from the modern concert grand onstage. Mozart requires enormous precision, but that detailed playing shouldn't be at the expense of warmth. Shaham has all those bases covered and earned an enthusiastic standing ovation from the crowd.


spirited and elegant performance of Mozart’s 21st piano concerto

The Press Democrat

"Speaking of sparkles, Rachmaninoff can pack more notes into a measure with the best of them, and they poured out of the piano in shimmering cascades, all of which were negotiated without a hitch. Hands crossing over each other always came down in the correct spot; loud passages were not attacked so much as leaned into with solid control; all the melodies, especially the famous 18th variation, had a natural flow and sensitive rubato."

John Huxhold, St. Louis Post Dispatch

"an exquisite Mozart interpreter"

Paul Hodgins, The Orange County Register

Shaham’s cadenzas were especially appealing. Throughout the piece, she marvelously created moods that were majestic, dreamy, and playful.

James Bash, Northwest Reverb

Shaham brought mesmerizing musical expression to the piece, giving clear shape and constant direction to long expressive lines, short interjections and colorful series of chords alike.
Playing with a relaxed command of the instrument, she used crisp executions, judicious pedaling and absolutely meticulous rhythms to give the audience a clear understanding of the architecture of the piece.
But this was far more than a diagram. Shaham's thoughtfully, gracefully shaped phrases, fascinating variety of accents, colorful shimmering passages and sweeping, powerful statements gave constant, compelling direction and meaning to the music.


Elaine Schmidt, Milwuakee Journal Sentinel

“… Grand Pianola Music is a built on a solid musical foundation. At least that’s how it sounds in the hands of pianists Orli Shaham and Marc-Andre Hamelin, who really find and make something of their highly involved, if relentlessly triadic, solo parts. Adams has been faulted (most memorably in the late ’80s by The New York Times) for his extensive use of arpeggios, but in Grand Pianola Music they function in a similar way as they do in Beethoven, namely as the scaffolding of the music’s expressive aim and it’s the job of the pianists here to make them sing. Shaham and Hamelin manage that beautifully and with lots of heart, especially in the second half of Part 1. Pianists Shaham and Hamelin are also heard to full advantage as they boisterously cut loose with technique ranging from Rachmaninoff to Liberace. (Hey, Adams said it first.)"

Jonathan Blumhofer, Arts Fuse

“Pianists Orli Shaham and Marc-André Hamelin dazzle, and the three vocalists are impeccably balanced.”

Graham Rickson, Arts Desk

“…played with precision by Orli Shaham”

Michael Cookson, Music Web

Her playing across the board is warm and intelligent, shading the music with a range of emotions and creating some very special moments.

Colorado Public Radio

“As this new, superb live recording, with Orli Shaham and Marc-André Hamelin as the two swashbuckling pianists shows, Grand Pianola Music – together with Harmonielehre, Adams’s following score for the SFS – was a manifesto, a statement of intent…Grand Pianola Music remains as glorious as ever."

Andrew Clements, The Guardian

"The works by Adolphe and Dorman ... play to her strengths: musical intelligence and integrity, fine technical chops and dedication to quality in all she does."

Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Orli Shaham’s love, affection and understanding of Brahms totally pervades this recording."

My Classical Notes

"Orli turns in a masterful performance of all the pieces in the set."

Classical Music Today

"Shaham was a spectacular advocate for these works [on Brahms Inspired], bringing her virtuosity and intelligent musicianship to bear throughout."

Tim Sawyier, Chicago Classical Review

"Thanks to Shaham, I think I'll be a better friend to Brahms from now on. ...  Shaham blows past the difficulties [in the music] with aplomb."


Ms. Shaham offered a daringly forceful interpretation of the [Brahms] F minor Sonata. Where the music so much as hinted that power would be welcome, Ms. Shaham supplied it amply, with sharply articulated phrasing as a bonus.....she was at her best when Brahms turned up the heat, and as big as her sound was in the scherzo and the finale, Ms. Shaham kept it trim and fully focused.

The New York Times

She showed herself to be a first-rate Mozartean, combining a crisp keyboard touch with an uncommonly nuanced approach to tone and phrase. Her solos proved consistently well-crafted and engaging, her accompanying passages a sparkling counterpoint to the orchestral statements.

Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

Shaham is an exceptionally well-rounded and solid pianist. Her musicality is remarkable, and her technique is nothing short of flawless. And she had the chance to show off both. The Second is probably the most popular of Saint-Saen's five piano concertos, and Shaham played it as if she owned it. She gave a penetrating and emotionally charged reading of the slow opening movement with its many extended solo sections for the piano. Her playing was nuanced and well-crafted and -phrased.

Desert News

Shaham brings a sense of friendliness and intimacy to her playing, with a warmth that reaches beyond the proscenium to touch the listener. Her Mozart had both delicacy and strength, and she was well in sync with her colleagues, for an engaging and enjoyable reading.

St. Louis Post Dispatch

"Her playing blends confidence with reflective grace, digital wizardry with subtlety of touch. Shaham tied everything into convincing packages by sustaining lines and making sure the sonorities were as clear as crystal."

Cleveland Plain Dealer

"...a demonstrative artist, boldly imparting her deepest sentiments with courage, flair and vulnerability."

Omaha World Herald

"Her playing is graceful, but still rigorous, very romantic, yet strong. This is an artist whose growth and career should be worth watching."

St. Louis Post Dispatch

"Orli Shaham not only is technically flawless, but also her innate musicality transforms every phrase she touches into a finely sculpted work of art. Her sound has a soft brilliance, her fluid scales are clearly articulated and subtly inflected. Yet, she can go from delicate lyricism to strongly dramatic intensity with seamlessness. Her body movements reflect the emotional content of the music which seems to inhabit her. Yet, she remains in control, serenely confident, taking time to reflect, and is keenly of the orchestra of which she becomes an integral part."

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

"Orli is so eloquent."

Brad Turner, Colorado Public Radio completely at home with the music of today. She played with absolute confidence, weight and singing tone throughout its many challenges, from simple childhood tunes that reminded one of Satie, to a huge triple fugue at the end. A long, meandering cadenza at its center, for piano alone, had an improvisatory feel, and the effect was mesmerizing...Shaham communicated with expressive beauty.

Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer

American Grace demonstrates that modern piano repertoire is alive and flourishing in the hands of some of the great composers of our time.

Alison Howard, CBC Music

This is a performance that gives me great joy to listen to. You have here twenty astonishing agile and inspired fingers working in perfect sync throughout the piece. Any composer should be so lucky to receive such a reading as Orli and Jackie have done!

John Adams
Shaham not only exudes her deep understanding of and feeling for the music, but also radiates a contagious joy in performing it...
Ilona Oltuski, GetClassical
Rach 2 with Shaham in Winston-Salem
From the opening rolled chords, it was clear that Shaham is a powerful player and her interaction with the orchestra was first-rate...The pianist's delicate playing was exquisite, inviting the listener into a more intimate world.
Timothy H. Lindeman, Classical Voice of North Carolina
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