Played by the beautiful Naama Preis, Anat may hope that her son’s talents will be the catalyst to reconnect with her detached, virtuoso father; if so, this plan fails. In the end, the identity of the god of the piano, if there is one, is still unknown to the audience, and perhaps to Anat herself.
The god referenced in the title may only exist in Anat’s imagination, but devotees of the instrument can attest that Israeli goddesses of the piano are quite real and we can hear them every day.
For the past two decades, Jerusalem-born Orli Shaham has received critical acclaim for her brilliant pianistic technique and her special affinity for classical composers of the last three centuries, particularly Mozart. She also enjoys a reputation as a musical commentator, on both NPR and on her own show, “Dial a Musician,” broadcast over the Classical Public Radio Network. As an educator, she has achieved recognition as one who has developed the concert experience to encourage the love of the classical repertory in children as young as four.
Shaham appears throughout the world playing with noted orchestras, in recital and in chamber music, often onstage with her equally renowned violinist brother, Gil Shaham. She has acquired a following through her acclaimed recordings. In 2019 she initiated The Mozart Project for Canary Classics, a series of CDs that will eventually encompass all of the composer’s works for piano. Shaham will finish the complete piano sonatas over the next year and releases a new excerpt each week via her website.
Inspired by her own twin boys, Shaham in 2010 founded “Baby Got Bach” (now called Orli Shaham’s Bach Yard), curated concerts she hosts for kids including stories, performances with youthful guest artists, hands on encounters with musical instruments and the playing of specially adapted pieces by the “Three Bs” and others. These special events have been produced in music venues nationwide. With the recent pandemic, the pianist has now brought her Bach Yard “play dates” to children who can view the concerts online.
Like Shaham, Wolf wants to see younger people connect with classical music.
Wolf, from Tel Aviv, also appears on stage with orchestras and chamber groups around the world, giving about 90 concerts each year.
Wolf is also known as one of Israel’s most creative thinkers, who often writes and lectures on the intersection between technology, creativity, business, leadership acumen and the arts. Watch her TED Talk on the matter here.
Playing professionally by age 11, Wolf went on to study at the Tanglewood Institute and Boston University, obtaining two degrees by age 23 from London’s Royal Academy of Music, where she now teaches.