Bold. Brave. Brilliant.

Sister Cities Festival: An Evening with the Zenaty-Shapiro Duo

Ivan Zenaty, violin, Sandra Shapiro, Piano
Friday, October 28, 2016 - 7:00pm (Phoenix)

Celebrate Arizona’s international partners in Arizona Opera’s Sister Cities Festival. Rusalka premiered in Prague, and that cultural capital is one of Arizona’s many international Sister Cities. Join us as we explore Arizona’s diverse international partners and learn how their stories—and fairytales—bring us together as a global community.




Arizona Jewish Historical Society

122 E Culver St, Phoenix, AZ 85004


We're proud to bring you a free concert featuring world-renowned Czech violinist, Ivan Zenaty, and pianist, Sandra Shapiro: 

“From the moment that Ivan Ženatý and Sandra Shapiro walked onstage at Mixon Hall on Wednesday night, it was clear that the audience was in for some- thing special. Coming oa six-city American and European tour, the duo was the picture of sophisticated elegance, with Ženatý in formal black tie and tails, and Shapiro resplendent in a glittery silver-grey evening gown. Their music was even more impressive.”

-Cleveland Debut Review by Frank Kuzika for Cultured Cleveland-

The powerhouse duo of Ivan Zenaty and Sandra Shapiro has created a stir with their recent collaboration. The two met through their mutual love and respect for chamber music inherited from their teachers and mentors, Josef Suk and Leon Fleisher. After deciding to join forces, they have enthralled audiences world- wide, resulting in immediate reengagements and dream reviews that have cited their “distinct voices that fit together seamlessly when they play, matching  surges of expression and nuances of phrasing and tone, or opening up space  for each other to dash oa dazzling line. Their sound is airtight and command- ing, with sharp, precise beginnings and endings on every  piece.”

Their recent and current concert seasons included concerts and tours of Czech Republic, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Asia and the United States, with highlights of recitals in Carnegie Hall and the Prague International Spring Festival.

Whether together or individually, the world-class artistry of Ivan Zenaty and Sandra Shapiro encompasses the highest level of musicianship and audience engagement through their ability to enchant and engross with their extraordinary passion and energy.

The duo’s debut recording consisting of the Strauss Sonata and Martinu  Sonata #3 H.303, was recently released and highlighted in Gramophone’s September 2016 issue. The review stated that “they breathe as one, shaping phrases with utmost unanimity of purpose and flexibility… imbue every moment of this vi- brantly dramatic work (Martinu) with fierce urgency, from the tender moments  of hope to the coruscating passages suggesting frustration and despair. Zenaty and Shapiro engage in a series of eloquent conversations, evoking Martinu’s distinctive sound world with a blend of sophistication, ardour and regret… this recording whets the appetite for more distinguished  artistry.”

Music critics, fellow musicians and audiences are calling Ivan Zenaty “the most important Czech violinist of this  time”. Mr. Zenaty reaches a broad public without abandoning the world of classical music for even a moment. Besides the technical perfection one would expect, he is also appreciated for his taste, style and a captivatingly beautiful  tone. With his exceptional wealth of repertoire including more than 50 violin concer- tos, he is a favored guest artist with many international orchestras. Known for his versatility, his engagements also include solo recitals and chamber music collaborations.

The springboard to his international career came as a result of being a prize winner in the Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition followed immediately by debut engagements with the Moscow and Czech Philharmonic. Other suc- cesses include First Prize at the Prague Spring Competition, as well as being a chosen laureate of the UNESCO International Rostrum of Young Performers. In the subsequent years following his victories, Mr. Zenaty made his orchestral and solo debuts in London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, Tokyo, New York, Buenos Aires, Madrid and Jerusalem.

The musicianship of Ivan Zenaty has been influenced the most by his personal encounters with Nathan Milstein, Ruggiero Ricci and André Gertler. Studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow under the tutelage of Igor Bezrodny, had the greatest impact on his technical approach to the violin. The great Czech musical tradition was passed on to Mr. Zenaty through his mentor Josef Suk, which resulted in many subsequent years of professional partnership and cul- minated in a recording of the complete works of W. A. Mozart. Other  collaborations include great artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Yo-Yo Ma, Serge Baudo, Valery Gergiev and Neville Marriner.

Ivan Zenaty’s recordings have always aroused the enthusiastic acclaim of listen- ers and music critics. His prolific output of over 40 CD’s includes the complete works of Telemann, Bach, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Schulho, Dvořák and Grieg. His new recording of the complete works of Dvořák has attracted ex- traordinary attention, as has his recording of both violin concertos by J. B. Foer- ster with the BBC Symphony Orchestra London and its music director Jiri Be- lohlavek.

A natural counterbalance to Ivan Zenaty’s concert and recording activities is his work as an acclaimed teacher. Mr. Zenaty has taught at the Hochschule fur Musik in Dresden, and in the Fall of 2012 was invited to join the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Summer activities include teaching at the Mead- owmount School of  Music.

Thanks to the Harmony Foundation of New York, Ivan Zenaty plays a rare Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu violin made in 1740.

“Compelling”, “brilliant”, “liquid sound and colors”, “great artistry”, “flawless perfection” and “sympathetic collaborator”, are terms that have been used to describe pianist Sandra Shapiro.

Ms. Shapiro enjoys a versatile career as a soloist in recitals and with orchestras, as a chamber musician and recording artist. Her performances have taken her throughout most major cities in the United States, Europe and Israel. Highlights of her orchestral appearances include Chicago Symphony, New York Philhar- monic, Baltimore Symphony, Stuttgart Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Belgrade String Orchestra, Brevard Festival Orchestra, as well as the Cleveland Orchestra.

The daughter of Russian-Israeli immigrants, she began her studies at the age of three and a half, and by age 11, was performing in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras. Because of her prodigious talent, Ms. Shapiro left home at age 14 to study at the Juilliard School.

Her mentors and greatest musical influences have been Gina Bachauer, Leon Fleisher and Guido Agosti. Major teacher's include John Perry and Nadia Reisenberg, all of whom were models that gifted and instilled in her a passion for teaching and working with young talents throughout the  world.

Ms. Shapiro has received numerous national and international awards. As a member of the renowned duo-piano team of Hecht & Shapiro, her laureates in- clude winning the Munich International Duo Piano Competition, Ellis National Duo Piano Competition, and top prizes in the DranoInternational Two Piano Competition, and the International Jeunesses Musicales Competition. As a soloist, awards and prizes include First Prizes in the Young Musician's Founda- tion National Debut Competition, the World Piano Competition, and a top prize  in the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition. Other recognitions include the “Outstanding Chamber Musician Award” from the University of Southern California, and the “Young Maestro Award” from the Peabody Institute of Music. Her great love for chamber music has led to collaborations with Truls Mork, Stanley Drucker, Mats Lidstrom, Franklin Cohen, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robin- son, and members of the New York Philharmonic on the New York Philharmon- ic’s Chamber Music Series.

She has been featured in radio and television productions for RIAS Berlin; Sud- westfunk Radio Production, PBS; WQXR, and NPR McGrawHill Young Artist Showcase. Recordings include "Sentimiento" on the Azica label as well as a col- laboration with the principal wind players of the New York Philharmonic in an al- bum entitled "The Complete Music of Robert Schumann for Winds and  Piano".

Ms. Shapiro is a member of the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Summer is spent at the Montecito In- ternational Festival in California, and she has been invited to join the MusicFest in Perugia, Italy 2017.

Ms. Shapiro is a Steinway Artist.