The Israeli pianist Iddo Bar-Shai was born in 1977 in Nazareth Illit. He studied with Bracha Ornan-Margalit in Haifa and with Prof. Pnina Salzman in the piano department at the Rubin Music Academy in Tel-Aviv University, also receiving guidance from Maestro Alexis Weissenberg. At early stages he attracted attention for his playing and already at the age of 11 he was a recipient of the America – Israel Cultural Foundation scholarships.
Since then his career has taken on an international dimension: he has performed on important stages such as the Wigmore Hall (London), the Mann Auditorium (Tel Aviv), the Theatre des Champs Elysees (Paris), the Tokyo Opera City Hall, The Beijing Zhongshan Concert Hall and others in various countries among which are many European countries, Israel, The USA, Japan, The People’s Republic of China and Brazil.
He first performed as a soloist with an orchestra at the age of twelve, and has subsequently played under the batons of Lawrence Foster, Aldo Ceccato, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Horia Andreescu among others with prominent orchestras in Europe a nd Israel such as the English Chamber Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony – IBA, the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and others.
Iddo Bar-Shai is keen to enjoy all the varied possibilities offered by his instrument, and regularly performs chamber music with such ensembles as the Ysaÿe Quartet, the Aviv Quartet, the Ebène Quartet, the Modigliani Quartet and the American String Quartet.
He has been a participant of the Verbier Festival & Academy and in the “Steans Institute” program at the Ravinia Festival. In 2004 he gave his début recital in the prestigious International Piano Festival of La Roque d’Anthéron in France and since then he has been performing there every year. He has been also regularly performing in the “La Folle Journée” festival taking place in Nantes, Lisbon, Tokyo, Warsaw and Rio de Janeiro and the La Grange de Meslay festival (France). Other festivals he took part in are: Music series of the Music Festival de Sion and the Radio-France music festival in Montpellier to name a few.
The last season included taking part in playing the integral of Chopin’s piano works with 5 other pianists in all La Folle Journee festivals around the globe concluding in Warsaw (where it was recorded and filmed for Mezzo television channel).
Iddo Bar-Shai is a first prize winner of various competitions among which: the Israeli Radio Broadcasting “Young Artist “ piano competition in 1997, the Tel – Aviv Chopin competition in 1998, the “Aviv Competitions”: Israel’s most acclaimed national competition for young musicians in 1999 and “The Peter Jay Sharp Competition – The Vendome Prize” in 2000.
His performances have been recorded and broadcast by French, Israeli, Swiss, German, Dutch, Irish and American radio channels and live performances of his were recorded and broadcast by “Mezzo” and “Arte” television channels. He has also taken part in the recording of a DVD “Les Pianos de Demain” (Naïve/Idéale Audience) with cooperation of Arte and France-3 television channels.
In 2006 was released a CD with his playing of Haydn piano works under the “Mirare” label which gained much praise in the press: receiving “5 diapasons” from the “Diapason” magazine, described as “one of the best ever, dedicated to the piano works of Haydn” by “Le Monde de La Musique” , as an “outstanding release – an obligatory purchase for all lovers of the Classical repertoire” by “International Piano” magazine and as a “superb recital that announces the arrival of a pianist of a grand talent who joins his predecessors, Curzon and De Larrocha in the Andante, Brendel and Gould for the sonatas” by “Classica Répertoire”, and has been selected and awarded by various magazines and radio channels (notably being selected in the “Annual International Piano Awards 2006” of “International Piano” magazine as one of three best CDs in the category : “Rising star award for best debut recording”). In December 2008 came out his latest CD recording with “Mirare” of Chopin Mazurkas which has received worldwide unanimous praise receiving highest possible markings from prestigious magazines such as “Le Figaro” and German “Fonoforum” described as a “magnificent achievement which confirms a new great talent of present keyboard” (Classique-news online magazine) and as “A major and unique CD” (“Le Devoir”).