Nabil Shehata

Double Bass

Nabil Shehata was born in Kuwait in 1980 to parents of German and Egyptian descent. At the age of four the family returned to Germany. After receiving piano lessons from his mother at the age of six he took his first double bass lessons three years later with Thomas Zscherpe in Achim close to Bremen.

Following his high school graduation in 1999, Shehata began studies with Professor Michinori Bunya in Würzburg and later transferred to the class of Professor Esko Laine at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin. During his studies he received scholarships from the German National Academic Foundation and the Foundation "Podium junger Musiker".

Nabil Shehata won several international competitions including the Julio Cardona Competition in Portugal and the Valentino Bucchi Competition in Rome. At the ARD competition Shehata not only received the first prize but also the coveted audience award as well. In the fall of 2006 the double bass player was awarded the "Praetorius Prize" of the German State of Lower Saxony.

In 2003 Daniel Barenboim brought Shehata to the Staatsoper Berlin as the first double bass soloist. One year later Nabil Shehata began his tenure with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in the same position.

As a soloist he is a frequent guest of prestigious orchestras, such as the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Gulbenkian Orchestra Lissabon, the Bremer Philharmoniker and the Münchener Kammerorchester. In 2008 he gave his debut as a soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim and in the following year he performed as a soloist in the Musikverein in Vienna.

Shehata has a special affinity to chamber music repertoire. Together with colleagues of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Tatjana Vassiljewa he founded the Philharmonic String Quintet, which after its first great success was invited to return to Japan for the 2009/2010 season. Furthermore, he performed the Trout Quintet by Franz Schubert and the Sextet by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in numerous concerts with the Fauré Quartet throughout the last season. Thomas Quasthoff, Nikolaj Znaider, Christoph Poppen, David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Elena Bashkirova, Klaus Thunemann, Viviane Hagner and Daniel Barenboim are among his regular chamber music partners. Shehata has performed at numerous renowned festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, the Oxford Chamber Music Festival and the Salzburg Easter Festival.

Supporting young artists is particularly valuable to Nabil Shehata. He is strongly committed to the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, of which he has been a member for many years in spite of his many other professional obligations. As a pedagogue he has been active in giving regular master classes throughout Europe and in Israel and Japan. His teaching positions included the Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and since fall 2007, a professorship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich.

For the past four years Nabil Shehata has increasingly turned toward conducting, receiving encouragement and instruction from Daniel Barenboim, Rolf Reuter, Lawrence Foster and Christian Thielemann. After first gaining experience working with various youth orchestras and chamber orchestras, he gave his critically acclaimed conducting debut in Cottbus in 2007.

In May 2008 Shehata was invited by Gustavo Dudamel to conduct the Simón-Bolívar-Youth-Orchestra in Caracas with such great success, that he has been engaged once more for the next season. Recently, he has conducted the Dohnányi Orchestra Budapest, the Rundfunkorchester in Ljublijana, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of the Konzerthausorchester and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.