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The Boston Globe


Music Review

Violinist takes Jordan Hall by storm

Amere blizzard of historic proportions cannot keep Gil Shaham from an audience. The violinist was there, as scheduled, in Jordan Hall for his Celebrity Series recital. Shaham likes playing to a crowd, conveying a persona both earnest and impish, and the playing itself always has flair — qualities increasingly seasoned with curiosity and even daring. Sunday’s concert had a little of everything.

Shaham was joined by like-minded colleagues. Pianist Akira Eguchi was an excellent partner, with scrupulous touch, responsive phrasing, and a long, flexible line to match Shaham’s poised bowing. William Bolcom was also there, flying in for the East Coast premiere of his Suite No. 2 for Solo Violin: nine character pieces leveraging Shaham’s ability to create perfectly honed moments — offhand punctuations in “Morning Music,” slippery, jazzy harmonics in “Lenny in Spats” (a Bernstein-Astaire homage), a “Barcarolle” of shadowy double stops and jabbed pizzicato punctuation. Bolcom himself took to the piano, leading a “Happy Birthday” serenade to his wife, then returned for an encore, accompanying Shaham in his own “Graceful Ghost Rag.”

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