At 31, Shohat is the youngest conductor to lead the 40-year-old ensemble. Previous music directors have included Philippe Entremont, Shlomo Mintz, and Luciano Berio.
Shohat, a onetime student of Berio's, is the composer of nine symphonies, eight concertos, and other works, including the opera Alpha and Omega, which was staged in Israel in 2001. Many Israeli ensembles, as well as the Berlin Symphony and other European groups, have performed his works. The Milwaukee Symphony will premiere his Songs of Batsheva in April.
He previously served as the Israel Chamber Orchestra's resident conductor.