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Encyclopedia > Harold Shapero

Harold Samuel Shapero (born 29 April 1920) is an American composer. April 29 is the 119th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (120th in leap years). ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January January 3 - Babe Ruth is traded by the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees for $125,000, the largest sum ever paid for a player at that time. ...

Contents

Early years

Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, Shapero and his family later moved to nearby Newton. He learned to play the piano as a child, and for some years was a pianist in dance orchestras. With a friend, he founded the Hal Kenny Orchestra, a swing-era jazz band. Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  Ranked 44th  - Total 10,555 sq mi (27,360 km²)  - Width 183 miles (295 km)  - Length 113 miles (182 km)  - % water 13. ... A jazz band is a musical ensemble that plays jazz music. ...


More interested in classical music, though, in his teens he studied with quite some famous teachers, including Nicolas Slonimsky (editor of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians) in 1936, and Ernst Krenek in 1937. At 18 he was ready to go to Harvard, where he studied composition with Walter Piston in 1938, and Paul Hindemith in 1940. Nicolas Slonimsky (April 27, 1894 - December 25, 1995) was a Russian-American composer, conductor, music critic, musician, and author. ... Ernst Krenek Ernst Krenek (August 23, 1900 – December 22, 1991) was an Austrian-born composer of Czech ancestry; throughout his life he insisted that his name be written Krenek rather than Křenek, and that it should be pronounced as a German word. ... Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and a member of the Ivy League. ... Walter Hamor Piston Jr. ... Paul Hindemith (November 16, 1895 – December 28, 1963) was a German composer, violist, teacher, theorist and conductor. ...


Tanglewood, a now cherished musical institution, was founded in the 1940s, and Shapero was one of its first students. When Igor Stravinsky was Norton Professor at Harvard in 1940, Shapero showed Stravinsky his Nine-Minute Overture. Shapero hoped to get the Overture played at Tanglewood in the summer of that year, but Paul Hindemith ordered that no student compositions would be played that season. Fortunately, Aaron Copland hastily put together an Orchestra just to play student compositions deemed worthy, including Shapero's Overture. (Unfortunately, the staffing of that Orchestra was rather uneven, and not really able to do justice to the scores.). Tanglewood is the name of an estate and music venue in Lenox and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. ... Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (Russian: И́горь Фёдорович Страви́нский Igor Fjodorovič Stravinskij) (June 17, 1882 – April 6, 1971) was a Russian-born composer of modern classical music. ... Aaron Copland Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was an American composer of concert and film music. ...


Shapero was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1941 for his Nine-Minute Overture, but unfortunately, the war prevented him from taking his well-earned residency in Italy. The Prix de Rome was a scholarship for art students. ...


After graduating from Harvard's Class of 1941, Shapero undertook further studies with Nadia Boulanger. Boulanger came to the United States from Europe, seeking respite from the ravages of World War II. While studying with Boulanger, Shapero was also in contact with Stravinsky, who was helpful in his critiques of Shapero's music. Nadia Boulanger (September 16, 1887 – October 22, 1979) was an influential composer, conductor, and music professor. ... Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead...


Postwar years

In 1945, Shapero married the painter Esther Geller. Throughout the rest of the decade they were often residents at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, an artists' retreat established by the widow of Edward MacDowell. There Shapero composed his Symphony for Classical Orchestra. The MacDowell Colony is an art colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Founded in 1907 by Marian MacDowell, wife of composer Edward MacDowell, largely with donated funds. ... Edward and Marian MacDowell. ...


In 1947, Stravinsky and Shapero met again, and Shapero showed Stravinsky the score of the Symphony for Classical Orchestra. After looking at the score of the Symphony, Stravinsky advised Shapero to become a conductor. Leonard Bernstein conducted the world premiere performance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Leonard Bernstein in 1971 Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American composer, pianist and conductor. ... The Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the worlds most renowned orchestras. ...


Aaron Copland thought highly of Shapero's technical skill and spontaneity of musical inspiration. One thing bothered him, though: In a 1948 New York Times article, he wrote that "Stylistically, Shapero seems to feel a compulsion to fashion his music after some great model. Thus, his ... Serenade ... is founded upon neoclassical Stravinskian principles, his three Amateur Piano Sonatas on Haydnesque principles, and his recent long Symphony [for Classical Orchestra] is modeled after Beethoven. ... he seems to be suffering from a hero-worship complex — or perhaps it is a freakish attack of false modesty..." Aaron Copland Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was an American composer of concert and film music. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ...


Brandeis University was founded in 1948, and in 1951 they hired Shapero and he was later chairman of the department and founder of its electronic music studio with the day's most advanced synthesizers. He taught at Brandeis for 37 years. Brandeis University is a private university in Waltham, Massachusetts, United States. ...


In 1953 his daughter Hannah M.G. Shapero was born, and she was to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a painter.


When awarded the Fulbright Fellowship in 1961, Shapero took the opportunity to travel to Europe with his family for a year. In 1970 he returned to Europe to be composer-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome. The Fulbright Program is program of educational grants (Fulbright Fellowships) sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. ...


Andre Previn and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, spearheaded a revival of Shapero's Symphony for Classical Orchestra, under the auspices of the AT & T American Encore program. Andre Previn has recognized the value of the Symphony and has done much to promote it in the United States (with performances in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York and of course, Los Angeles) and the European Community (with performances in London, Amsterdam and Madrid). Andr Previn (born April 6, 1929) is a prominent pianist, orchestral conductor, and composer. ... The Los Angeles Philharmonic is an orchestra based in Los Angeles, California, USA. From 1964 to 2003, the orchestra played its concerts in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Los Angeles Music Center. ...


In 1988, Shapero retired from Brandeis University to devote himself to composition. As of 2003, Shapero is still actively composing for both acoustic and electronic instruments.


Analysis

Browsing through the score of Shapero's Symphony for Classical Orchestra, one doesn't see too many modern notational quirks. The scoring is pretty much for a "classical Orchestra": regular woodwinds in pairs, plus a piccolo and a contrabassoon, pairs of horns and trumpets, three trombones, three timpani tuned to expected triad positions, and the standard complement of strings. This Symphony is in B-flat major. The use of accidentals is much lighter than say, in a work of Anton Bruckner. B-flat major is a major scale based on B-flat, consisting of the pitches B-flat, C, D, E-flat, F, G, A, and B-flat. ... Anton Bruckner (portrait by Josef Büche) Anton Bruckner (4 September 1824 – 11 October 1896) was an Austrian composer who wrote the majority of his mature music near the end of the Romantic era. ...


While Shapero uses some modern notation in his scores, he uses it in a clear way, employing procedures that have already been established by other modern composers or creating his own notation from traditional notation in a sensible way. For example, David Cope's handbook on modern music notation credits Shapero with the creation of the divisi bowing notation (simply the old bowing symbols combined), a notation which Cope recommends other composers should use. David Cope is an author, composer, and professor at UC Santa Cruz. ...


Shapero addressed the issue of "hero-worship" and musical inspiration in a series of essays in the 1940s entitled The Musical Mind.


Recordings

One of the first recordings of the Symphony for Classical Orchestra, was by Leonard Bernstein and the Columbia Symphony Orchestra on the CRI label. Andre Previn and the Los Angeles Philharmonic recorded it along with the Nine Minute Overture on a New World CD. New World has also released Boriskin's performances of three Piano Sonatas. The Previn recording of the Symphony can be purchased online from Amazon.com. Many more recordings have been made, but unfortunately a lot of them are out of print. The Columbia Symphony Orchestra is, (or was) an orchestra formed by the recording company Columbia, and provided a vehicle for some of their better known recording artists, with perhaps the most important contributions made by the conductor Bruno Walter, who made recordings of Beethoven and Mozart symphonies, amongst others, with...


Such records can still be found in the libraries of universities and public libraries. For example, a 35 rpm recording of Shapero's Piano Sonata in D major by harpsichordist Sylvia Marlowe on the Decca label. On the record cover, Marlowe quotes Shapero as saying that "Since the work was completed with the aid of Baroque and pre-Classical keyboard traditions, the version for harpsichord seems to me entirely natural." Sylvia Marlowe (b. ...


Awards

Shapero won the Prix de Rome in 1941 for the Nine-Minute Overture. The jurors were Howard Barlow, Howard Hanson, Leo Sowerby, Walter Piston and Albert Stoessel. The prize consisted of US$1000 and a residency in Italy, which Shapero was unable to take because of the war. The 2nd Annual George Gershwin Memorial Concert, sponsored by B'nai B'rith Victory Lodge of Newton Center, Massachusetts, featured Shapero's Serenade in D, as part of a prize which also included publication with royalties and US$1000, and Leonard Bernstein was chairman of the judges' committee. In 1946 Shapero won the Joseph H. Bearns Prize of US$1200 for the Symphony for String Orchestra. Shapero has also won two Guggenheim Fellowships (in 1947 and in 1948), two Fulbright Fellowship (in 1948 and in 1960), and a Naumburg Fellowship. Howard Harold Hanson (October 28, 1896 – February 26, 1981) was a composer, conductor and educator from the United States of America. ... Guggenheim Fellowships are awarded annually by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to those who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. ... The Walter W. Naumburg Foundation sponsors competitions and provides awards for young classical musicians in North America. ...


Shapero is grouped in the "Boston school" along with Arthur Berger, Lukas Foss, Irving Fine, Alexie Haieff, and Claudio Spies. Arthur Berger (May 15, 1912 in New York, NY - 7 October 2003) was a composer who has been described as a New Mannerist. ... Lukas Foss (born Lukas Fuchs, August 15, 1922 in Berlin, Germany) is an American composer and conductor. ... Irving Fine (December 3, 1914–August 23, 1962) was a US composer. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Harold Shapero - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1163 words)
In 1945, Shapero married the painter Esther Geller.
In 1953 his daughter Hannah M.G. Shapero was born, and she was to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a painter.
Shapero is grouped in the "Boston school" along with Arthur Berger, Lukas Foss, Irving Fine, Alexie Haieff, and Claudio Spies.
Harold Shapero, composer (1272 words)
Harold Shapero was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, on April 29, 1920, and with his family later moved to nearby Newton.
As of this writing, Shapero is still actively composing for both acoustic and electronic instruments, in his house in the Boston area.
Shapero has also won two Guggenheim Fellowships (in 1947 and in 1948), two Fullbright Fellowship (in 1948 and in 1960), and a Naumburg Fellowship.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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