Clean and neat in touch, phrasing and comportment […] His poise, precision and sweet hesitations immediately made friends.

–The Times


Concert organizers: Download biographies here

Short biography

Israeli historical keyboard player Avinoam Shalev is the 1st prize winner of the International Bach Competition in Leipzig in 2018. Since 2021, he serves as professor of historical keyboard instruments and since 2024 as head of the department for early music at Berlin University of the Arts.

He completed his Bachelor’s degree in the fields of piano, harpsichord, organ and musicology with distinction 2011 in Tel Aviv. After moving to Hanover, Germany, he acquired two Master’s degrees in harpsichord and historical pianos, respectively. He is an experienced solo and chamber music performer, playing concerts in Israel, the USA, Central and South America, across Europe, Russia and the Ukraine. He has played solo recitals at the Göttingen Händel Festspiele, Israel Mozart Festival, the Bach Festival in Leipzig and the Bachwoche Ansbach, among others. Avinoam is a trustee of the Keyboard Charitable Trust in England and received the Young Artist full scholarship from Accademia Villa Bossi in Italy.

He co-founded prize-winning Ensemble Arava as well as the Lynx Ensemble, combining Swedish folk music with continental European Baroque arrangements. He was part of the production Händel goes Tinder, which ran in festivals across Europe. Avinoam was an adjunct professor (Lehrbeauftragter) at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart.

Full biography

Avinoam Shalev (harpsichord, organ, clavichord, historical pianos and modern piano perfomer) is the 1st prize winner of the International Bach Competition in Leipzig and Professor of historical keyboard instruments at the University of the Arts Berlin. Israeli born, Avinoam began his bachelor studies in piano performance (with Prof. Tomer Lev) and musicology and subsequently changed his instrumental subjects to harpsichord (with Dr. Marina Minkin) and organ (with Mr. Alexander Gorin). He graduated summa cum laude and received a Young Artist full scholarship for the Accademia Villa Bossi program in Italy. He then went on to complete two Master’s degrees with Prof. Zvi Meniker at the Musikhochschule Hannover in Germany, on harpsichord and historical pianos, respectively. Between 2018-2020 he worked as an adjunct professor (Lehrbeauftragter) at the Stuttgart Conservatory, Germany. Since 2021, he serves as professor at the Berlin University of the Arts.

He started his solo career at 17, playing Tchaikovsky’s 1st piano concerto on a European concert tour with his school orchestra. After recitals in France and Italy, he has since been fortunate to be a regular guest at international venues and festivals. These include the Wigmore Hall, the Göttingen International Handel Festival, Toujours Mozart Festival in Israel, the International Bach Festival in Leipzig, Bachwoche Ansbach, the Philharmonie Hall in Berlin and the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. He has performed with Il Gusto Barocco, MDR Symphony Orchestra, Kölner Akademie and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.

Avinoam finds particular joy in performing on original instruments. Concert engagements in Germany have included the collection in Bad Krozingen, Haus der Musik im Fruchtkasten, the Musical Instrument Museum in Berlin, the Bechstein Stiftung Collection, Schloss Weißenbrunn. In England, as a trustee of the Keyboard Charitable Trust, he has played at the Cobbe Collection, the Richard Burnett Heritage Collection and the Royal College of Music Museum in London.

Avinoam is an avid chamber music and orchestral player. In 2014 he started the prize-winning, German-Israeli Ensemble Arava. Between 2015-2021 he was a member of the Baroque orchestra la festa musicale as both soloist and continuo player. With the Lynx Ensemble, he brings together Swedish folk and Baroque music. Le Concert des Amis performs early music by heart in unconventional venues. The show “Händel goes Tinder” presents the composer’s music with a sophisticated, entertaining, modern story. He also performs with Concerto Ispirato, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and Lautten Compagney Berlin.

Avinoam has been a scholarship recipient of Deutschlandstipendium, Live Music Now Hannover and Berlin and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. He received the pianist’s award at the national German voice competition (BWG) in Berlin in 2014. In 2018 he won the 1st prize and the Bärenreiter prize on harpsichord at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig.