"Ittai Shapira's playing is
London Times, September 2012
"Shapira never puts a foot wrong
in impassioned, committed and
intelligent performances. One of
my earlier reviews mentioned
that the violinist had already had
14 concertos written for him;
this latest CD makes it easy to
see why composers want to write
for him. It’s also just as easy to
see why people want to listen."
Whole Note, 2012 Ittai Shapira at "Sala Sao Paolo", Brazil
"The Composition (MAGYAR) is rich sounding and intensive, one could hardly believe it is possible to write such music in our time.....No one could resist the suggestive power of the piece"
NEUE Magazine, July 2014
"Ittai Shapira is that previously familiar, but present-day rare phenomenon: a violinist-composer who writes music that showcases his virtuosity. Raised in Israel, he studied with the late Hungarian violinist Ilona Feher, and continued with violin teachers Dorothy DeLay and Robert Mann at the Juilliard School in New York City, where he now resides. A true world citizen, Shapira performs internationally with the most prestigious chamber groups and orchestras...The solo part includes every imaginable kind of technical firework, as well as expansive singing melodies in all registers, just right for Shapira’s stunning violin virtuosity and beautiful sonorous, radiant tone."
Strings Magazine, 2012
"For anyone giving this review only ten seconds before they make up their mind: this is an unmissable CD. Shapira's Concierto Latino is a memorably orchestrated, romantic modern masterpiece, full of imagination, passion and beautiful melody."
Music Web, July 2011
"Ittai Shapira brought the solo violin writing to life with a sweet, plaintive tone and an almost narrative approach to phrasing."
Allan Kozinn, NY Times, May 2010
"Israeli violinist Ittai Shapira captivates the audience with his performance...It is especially exciting to hear a concerto played by the musician it was originally written for, especially since many composers and musicians just like Avner Dorman and Ittai Shapira work closely together while shaping their work......Shapira's playing is a perfect match to them. He confronts the music with the finésse and bravura that one expects from a world class artist. He offers no encore despite enthusiastic applause, which is understandable, because one has to be exhausted after such a string-and-bow workout. To go deeper into how this music is built is not practical here, but this is definitely music one wants to hear again."
Johan Skuglund, Oulo Sinfonia, January 2010
"It's a work teeming with operatic largesse and songful plenitude and Ittai Shapira responds with equal fervour, digging into the string and extracting some gutty sounds. The lyric second subject, announced by winds, is tinged with baroque elements very attractively harmonised. The violin then takes up the songful material and embarks on a soaring reverie of superb warmth. Even high up Shapira's intonation stays firm and his tone doesn't become starved and harsh; sweetness is kept intact.
MusicWeb, Robert Moon, July 2005
"Shapira Handled the solo part's formidable difficulties masterfully, playing with great virtuosity and a warm, beautiful tone, even in the leaps and runs and punishing stratospheric passages. His understanding and feeling for the music spoke through every note....the composer was present to share a standing ovation."
Strings Magazine, Edith Eisler, October 2003
"Shapira....effectively grasped both the music's technical surface and its emotional core."
The Strad, Arthur Smith, Carnegie Hall Debut, September 2003
"On June 13 at Carnegie Hall, the infinitely versatile Orchestra of St. Luke's presented the Violin Concerto by Israeli-born Pulitzer Prize winner Shulamit Ran, commissioned and performed by her compatriot Ittai Shapira. A strongly felt piece in three contrasting movements, mercurial in mood and character, it made full use of his virtuosity and big, expressive tone; his identification with this clearly very personal music spoke through every note."
Epulse, Carnegie Hall Debut, July 2003
"Ittai Shapira, a young, strong Israeli violinist, [presented] the world premiere of a violin concerto written for him by Shulamit Ran. This piece was virtuosic enough to qualify as a high-wire act, although its most distinctive feature was its strong, melodic emotionalism, from lingering melodies to big, difficult climaxes. Mr. Shapira played it with conviction, through to its beautiful, singing finish."
The New York Times, Anne Midgette, Carnegie Hall Debut, June 2003
"A remarkably grateful and graceful vehicle, it explores the instrument's expressive range with idiomatic sensitivity for 20 taut minutes. Shapira played it with silken tone and gutsy bravado."
Financial Times, Martin Bernheimer, Carnegie Hall Debut, June 2003
"His interpretation was eloquently sensitive and beautifully phrased. The warm and resonant tone of the violin clearly projected against the orchestra....Ittai Shapira played with disarming simple elegance. His confident playing presented plenty of sparkle and zest."
CMB Observer, Mendelssohn Concerto, June 2003
"His playing was flawless and spell binding. He and Vasary coordinated without any problems and the result was, like the entire concert, memorable."
South Wales Echo, Mendelssohn Concerto with the Budapest Symphony under Tamas Vasary, May 2003
"Conceived as a companion piece for Bach's Concerto for violin and oboe, Sirocco takes its harmonic and rhythmic base from Arabic music.... played with impeccable technical brilliance by Israeli violinist Ittai Shapira.....He also revels in the technical demands of Lochalsh,a score for solo violin based on traditional Celtic music, the work having more than a passing affinity with Ravel's Tzigane".
The Strad, David Denton, Spring 2003
Disc chosen "recording of the month" for MusicWeb -
"An artist very much worthy of our attention is the young Israeli violinist, Ittai Shapira who featured in a gala concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall. He gave an exhilarating performance of Sarasate's Zigeunerweissen displaying an impeccable technique and a characterful Hebraic tone. Certainly, a name to watch out for.'
The Strad, Harriet Smith
"Shapira played with a radiant purity."
The Telegraph, Barbican Center, February 2003
"A technically fluent and expressive instrumentalist."
The Washington Post Arthur Smith
"Shapira lays his virtuoso credentials on the line....He has a full passionate tone. A fine reading. Shapira allows an unusual and fetching sense of spaciousness and grandeur to color his view of the piece."
International Record Review, EMI CD, Bruch Concerto
"The audience listened to a performance by a first class musician. Shapira presented a fantastic tone painting, tones that one can almost see and grasp, with a perfect mastery of his violin."
Lauterbacher Anzeiger, Martin Krauss
"It was a thoroughly pleasing reunion with Ittai Shapira, whose memorable performance of Debussy's Sonata drew a lot of attention at the Rheingau Musik Festival last summer. In this recital he beautifully expressed softness as velvet and strength, in both Leclair's Sonata No.3 and Brahms' Sonata No. 1. He ended his recital with an extremely skilful playing of Sarasate's Ziguenerweisen. He moved back and forth from softness to power demonstrating the excellent technique of his left hand as well as the remarkable coordination of his left and right hands."
Wiesbadener Kurier, Klaus Neuhoff
"The audience came to Ittai Shapira's recital with high expectations, since he's well known here and the program was very challenging. His playing of Sarasate's Ziguenerweisen was very impressive both technically and musically."
Rhein Main Presse
"Ittai Shapira's playing was extremely sensitive and self confident. He made the audience hold their breath until the last note of Massenet's Meditation, perfectly moving his bow to a no longer hearable pianissimo."
Frankfurter, Christian Ekowski
"A lavish sound which Shapira wasted no time demonstrating."
- Cape Times, Cape Town, South Africa, Dvorak Concerto
"Four pieces played with virtuosity and imagination. Shapira's rich, fast vibrato somewhat reminiscent of the Heifetz style is well suited for the works at hand."
Musical Opinion, London Recital Debut
"Ardent performance of Bloch's Baal-Schem, rarely done with orchestra, and a suitably brilliant one of Sarasate's virtuoso Gypsy Melodies. Throughout, Shapira displays a reliable technique, and an attractive tone with intelligently varied vibrato."
BBC Music Magazine
"Shapira's bow arm has a power that reminds me of Isaac Stern.....he sails through passages of considerable technical difficulty with ease."
Fanfare Magazine, David K. Nelson
Omas - Ittai Shapira
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