"Violinist-composer Ittai Shapira presents a new concerto The Old Man and The Sea in the 50th anniversary year of the publication of Hemmingway’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel.
Prompted by events surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, his love of all things Cuban, and his affection for Hemmingway’s The Old Man and The Sea this new concerto is in three movements, moving from the loneliness of the fisherman to the bustle of island life and finally the heroic struggle as he catches a huge marlin, only for it to be eaten by sharks.
Ittai has dedicated the work to his mentor and Champs Hill Records founder David Bowerman, a keen musician and fisherman.
Ittai’s Concierto Latino was premiered in Key West with the Israel Sinfonietta, in sight of Cuba. It is based on Ittai’s terrifying experience of being attached by a gang in New York in 2005.
Ittai has written a number of virtuosic Caprices for solo violin including his Caprice Habanera. He studied composition with Mark Kopytman, who was Osvaldo Golijov’s teacher. Ittai has also commissioned a large number of new works from other composers.
Israeli violinist-composer Ittai has performed as a soloist with orchestras worldwide including Detroit Symphony, Philharmonia, English Chamber Orchestra, Czech National Symphony and made his critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut in 2003. He lives in New York and plays a 1745 Guadagnini violin.
"Ittai Shapira brought the soloviolin writing to life with a sweet plaintive tone and an almost narrative approach to phrasing." - New York Times - May
"...A memorably orchestrated, romantic modern masterpiece, full of imagination, passion and beautiful melody."
Byzantion - MusicWeb-International.com - 30 October 2012
"Violinist Shapira should strengthen his reputation as a composer with this CD, a vibrant mixture of post-modern eclecticism with folk-song and neo-Romanticism." *****
Barry Witherden - BBC Music magazine - July 2012