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Robert Shaw

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Biography

Not to be confused with the earthy barrelhouse pianist of the same name, Robert Shaw made his name through his dual mastery of the art of choral and orchestral conducting. Although featured on record with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performing standard classical repertory, Shaw's own recordings often document his interest in old-time song. Best-known for several recordings of traditional Christmas carols, he has also tackled Irish folk music, sea shanties, songs of the American Civil War, popular American hymns, African American spirituals, and the works of Stephen Foster, among others. After working in New York under Arturo Toscanini and Bruno Walter, Shaw began to find conducting work of his own and in 1948, he put together the Robert Shaw Chorale, which went on to become one of the country's most widely acclaimed choral groups, embarking on tours across the globe. After stints with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, Shaw served as music director for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1967-1988 and also appeared as a guest conductor with many groups, including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Shaw's long and distinguished career came to an end when he passed away on January 25, 1999. ~ Steve Huey

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Born:

30 April 1916 in Red Bluff, CA

Genre
Years Active:

'40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s