Robert Shaw (conductor)

Robert Shaw (conductor)

Robert Shaw (April 30, 1916January 25, 1999) was an American conductor most famous for his work with his namesake Chorale, with the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Shaw received 14 Grammy awards, four ASCAP awards for service to contemporary music, the first Guggenheim Fellowship ever awarded to a conductor, the Alice M. Ditson Conductor's Award for Service to American Music; the George Peabody Medal for outstanding contributions to music in America, the Gold Baton Award of the American Symphony Orchestra League for "distinguished service to music and the arts, the American National Medal of Arts, France's Officier des Arts et des Lettres, England's Gramophone Award, and was a 1991 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.cite web | author= | title=Robert Shaw | url= | publisher=Telarc | date= | accessdate=2007-09-19] website, "Robert Shaw",]


Shaw was born in Red Bluff, California. In 1941, he founded the Collegiate Chorale, a group notable in its day for its racial integration. In 1945, the group performed Ludwig Van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the NBC Symphony and Arturo Toscanini, who famously remarked, "In Robert Shaw I have at last found the maestro I have been looking for." Joseph A. Mussulman (1979). "Dear People...Robert Shaw", Hinshaw Music, Inc. ISBN 0-937276-18-9] Shaw continued to prepare choirs for Toscanini until March 1954, when they sang in "Te Deum" by Verdi and the prologue to "Mefistofele" by Boito. Shaw's choirs participated in the NBC broadcast performances of three Verdi operas: "Aida", "Falstaff" and "A Masked Ball". They can be seen on the home videos of the telecasts of "Aida" and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (from April 1948). Shaw himself took a bow at the end of the Beethoven telecast.

He went on to found the Robert Shaw Chorale in 1949, a group which produced numerous recordings on RCA Records up until his appointment in Atlanta. The Chorale visited 30 countries in tours sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Shaw was named music director of the San Diego Symphony in 1953 and served in that post for four years. Only after his San Diego tenure did he become an apprentice again, studying the art of conducting with George Szell and serving as his assistant at the Cleveland Orchestra for eleven seasons. He also took over the fledgling Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and fine-tuned it into one of the finest all-volunteer choral ensembles sponsored by an American symphony orchestra. From 1967-1988 he was music director and conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.Nick Jones (1999), "The Legacy of Robert Shaw", Atlanta Symphony Orchestra website,] In 1970, he founded the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and worked to recreate the success he had had for Cleveland in preparing them for performances and recordings with their namesake symphony orchestra.

After stepping down from his Atlanta post in 1988, Shaw continued to conduct the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as its Music Director Emeritus and Conductor Laureate, was a regular guest conductor with other orchestras including Cleveland, and taught in a series of summer festivals and week-long Carnegie Hall workshops for choral conductors and singers.

Although noted in classical repertoire, Shaw hardly limited himself to that genre. His discography also includes recordings of sea shanties, glee club songs, sacred music and spirituals, musical theater numbers, Irish folk tunes, and, most notably, Christmas albums that have remained bestsellers ever since their release. For Telarc he recorded several digital remakes of the Christmas albums he had previously recorded for RCA Victor, including "The Many Moods of Christmas".

During his long career, Shaw drew attention to choral music and came to be considered the "dean" of American choral conductors, mentoring a number of younger conductors—including Jameson Marvin, Margaret Hillis, Maurice Casey, Ken Clinton, Donald Neuen, and Ann Howard Jones—and inspiring thousands of singers with whom he worked around the United States. His work set new choral standards in the United States, and many of his recordings are considered benchmarks for choral singing. [ ]

In honor of Shaw's vast influence on male choral music, on February 26, 1965 he was awarded the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Glee Club Award of Merit [cite web | url =|title=The University of Pennsylvania Glee Club Award of Merit Recipients] . Established in 1964, this award sought "to bring a declaration of appreciation to an individual each year that has made a significant contribution to the world of music and helped to create a climate in which our talents may find valid expression."

Although his formative years and much of his work occurred before the rise of mainstream interest in informed historic performance practice, his recordings, reflecting his insistence that clearly-projected texts serve as the foundation for musical interpretation, do not sound dated in comparison to more modern efforts by frequently smaller forces. He recorded many of the great choral-orchestral works more than once, and his performances of Handel's "Messiah", Bach's Mass in B Minor, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and other similar masterworks remain highly regarded.

Shaw was a champion of modern music from the beginning of his career. He commissioned a requiem for Franklin Roosevelt from the newly-naturalized German composer Paul Hindemith, who responded with "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd", a setting of the Walt Whitman poem in memory of Abraham Lincoln. Shaw led the premiere of the work in 1946 with the Collegiate Chorale and continued to champion the work well into the last decade of his life;cite web
title=American Composer's Orchestra, May 16, 1999: Whitman and Music
] in 1996 he conducted a 50th anniversary performance at Yale University, where Hindemith was a professor when he wrote the work. In 1998 Yale also awarded Shaw an honorary doctorate.

Shaw recorded for a variety of labels, beginning with a single record for American Decca and numerous releases on RCA Victor during the 78 rpm era. From the late 1970s, most of his recordings appeared on the Telarc label. For that company he led not only the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus but also the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, which drew its personnel largely from the Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus, and the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, a group assembled for Shaw's summer choral workshops in France. His last recording was for Telarc of Dvořák's "Stabat Mater" with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, chorus, and soloists.

Shaw died in New Haven, Connecticut, of a stroke.


*Robert K. Dean, The Foreign Tours of the Robert Shaw Chorale. Dissertation Abstracts. 2000

External links

* [ Atlanta Symphony Orchestra website]
* [ Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus website]
* [ Robert Shaw Discography website]
* [ Robert Shaw Resource website]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Robert Shaw — may refer to:Arts and Humanities*Bob Shaw (1931 1996), Irish Science fiction writer *Bob Shaw (screenwriter) (20th century), co writer for Seinfeld, A Bugs Life and others *Robert Shaw (American actor) (1915 2005), American actor *Robert Shaw… …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Spano — (born May 7, 1961, Conneaut, Ohio) is an American conductor and pianist. Since 2001 he has been Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), and he served as Music Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic from 1996 to 2004.… …   Wikipedia

  • Shaw, Robert — ▪ 2000       American music director and conductor (b. April 30, 1916, Red Bluff, Calif. d. Jan. 25, 1999, New Haven, Conn.), was the founder and conductor of the Robert Shaw Chorale and with that group took choral music to new heights of… …   Universalium

  • Robert Russell Bennett — Infobox Person name = Robert Russell Bennett birth date = June 15, 1894 birth place = death date = August 18, 1981 (aged 87) death place = Robert Russell Bennett (June 15, 1894 – August 18, 1981)was an American composer and arranger, best known… …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Skeris — Dr. Robert A. Skeris has been a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee since 1961. Dr. Skeris earned the Masters of Arts degree in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame and studied at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn in Germany …   Wikipedia

  • Shaw — [[t]ʃɔ[/t]] n. 1) big George Bernard, 1856–1950, British writer, born in Ireland: Nobel prize 1925 2) big Robert (Lawson), 1916–99, U.S. conductor 3) big Thomas Edward Lawrence Thomas Edward …   From formal English to slang

  • Martin Shaw (composer) — Martin Shaw Born March 9, 1875(1875 03 09) London Died October 24, 1958(1958 10 24) …   Wikipedia

  • Charles F. Shaw — For other people with this name, see Charles Shaw (disambiguation). Charles F. Shaw is an American businessman and former winery owner whose name is used for Charles Shaw wine, a brand of inexpensive table wines. Shaw graduated from the United… …   Wikipedia

  • Ditson Conductor's Award — The Ditson Conductor s Award, established in 1945, is the oldest award honoring conductors for their commitment to the performance of American music. The US$5,000 purse endowed by the Alice M. Ditson Fund at Columbia University was increased in… …   Wikipedia

  • John Fiore (conductor) — American born conductor John Fiore is concurrently the musical director of two major musical institutions in the heart of Germany. He is Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein (DOR), [Deutsches Buehnen Jahrbuch, GDBA, 2008] a repertory… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”