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Pianist Shir Semmel has performed in Europe, the United States, and her native Israel to critical acclaim. Hailed by critics as a “wonderful pianist” with “absolute devotion to the music” and “admirable technique”. First Prize winner of several competitions, Semmel has participated in international festivals such as the Gstaad Piano Academy with András Schiff at the Menuhin Festival in Switzerland, Music@Menlo in California, IMS Prussia Cove in England, Mänttä Piano Festival in Finland, and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New-York. Winner of the Pnina Salzman Memorial Prize and finalist at the New York Concert Artists Concerto Competition, she has appeared in such venues as Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall, Merkin Hall, Shriver Hall, the Jerusalem Theater and Tel-Aviv Museum. An avid chamber musician, Semmel cofounded the Jerusalem Piano Duo together with her brother, pianist Dror Semmel. Semmel has recently joined Ensemble ACJW - a program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and Weill Music Institute. As a member of the ensemble she performs regularly at such venues as Carnegis Hall's Weill Hall and Juilliard's Paul Hall among others, and work to engage with the community and enhance music education.
Many of her concerts were recorded for the radio and some have been released on CD. Future engagements include concerts at Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall, Steinway Hall, Juilliard's Paul Hall and SubCulture, as well as concerts in Israel and participation in the Open Chamber Music Seminar at IMS Prussia Cove.
A consistent recipient of the American-Israel Cultural Foundation excellence scholarships, Semmel has participated in numerous master classes given by renowned pianists such as András Schiff, Murray Perahia, Richard Goode, Joseph Kalichstein, Yefim Bronfman, Dmitry Bashkirov, Rudolf Buchbinder, Gilbert Kalish and many others.
She graduated summa cum laude from the Jerusalem Music Academy as a student of Alexander Tamir and Asaf Zohar, and completed her Master of Music degree with honors at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music where she studied with Emanuel Krasovsky. She currently studies at the Peabody Institute with renowned pianist and pedagogue Leon Fleisher.