Lahav Shani will become chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra

Lahav Shani will become chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra from the 2026/2027 concert season. This was decided today by the Munich City Council at the orchestra's suggestion. Mayor Dieter Reiter and Lahav Shani signed the contract, which will run for five years. 

»Lahav Shani is a perfect fit for the Munich Philharmonic. The municipal orchestra with its tradition and reputation has rejuvenated itself and is awakening a new enthusiasm for classical music. The bold way forward inspires audiences in the Isar Philharmonic, on tour and at unusual venues«, said Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter.

»Thank you for your trust in me! I already had two wonderful projects with the Munich Philharmonic. The orchestra is modern, curious and incredibly beautiful in sound. It is an honor for me to shape the future together with the musicians. I'm looking forward to Munich and I'm happy to come here regularly even before 2026.«, says Lahav Shani.

»He is one of us«, says Alexandra Gruber, spokeswoman of the orchestra board. The musicians have experienced an eye-to-eye collaboration with him, which allows joint development of ideas. He already identifies with the orchestra. »Lahav Shani is an approachable person, « Gruber explains, "not only for us musicians, but also for our audience.« In the summer of 2024, Shani will conduct the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra at »Klassik am Odeonsplatz«.

So the Munich Philharmonic's spirit of optimism continues. It began with the move from the Gasteig to the Isarphilharmonie - the current season goes under the title »Transformations.« The latest appointment of Lahav Shani can be seen as part of this process: His age promises curiosity and freshness, his experience musical excellence and stability - in addition to the late romantic, he will explore other musical worlds with his Munich Philharmonic. 

Lahav Shani (34) brings a wealth of musical experience with him: Since 2018, he has led the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra as its youngest principal conductor, succeeding Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In 2020, Shani, who was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, also assumed the position of principal conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, succeeding Zubin Mehta. Shani, who has had a close relationship with his then mentor Daniel Barenboim since he was a student, began his stellar career after winning the Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition in Bamberg in 2013. He makes regular guest appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, among others. In addition to his conducting activities, he is also active as a pianist, plays chamber music with top-class colleagues, conducts from the piano and plays the double bass professionally.

Anton Biebl, Cultural Officer of the City of Munich: »Lahav Shani is an excellent fit for us as Chief Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. In the circle of artistic directors and directorships of the city's cultural institutions, he is another personality who stands for a contemporary management culture. We are looking forward to a gifted conductor and instrumentalist!«

Paul Müller, Chief Executive of the orchestra: »The Munich Philharmonic is delighted to be able to continue its history with Lahav Shani as Chief Conductor. The orchestra has always stood for tradition, emotion and curiosity - and it is not least these values that bind us together. It will be a great pleasure for us to create unforgettable concert experiences in Munich and around the world together with Lahav Shani«.