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Harold Shapero

SHAPERO, HAROLD (Samuel; 1920– ), U.S. composer and pianist. Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, Shapero studied the piano with Eleanor Kerr and composition with Sergey Slonimsky (1936–37), Ernst Krenek (1937), Walter Piston (1938–41), Paul Hindemith (1940–41), and Nadia Boulanger (1942–3). During the 1940s Shapero had associations with Arthur *Berger, Irving Fine, and Leonard *Bernstein, who conducted the première of his symphony in 1948 and recorded it in 1954. Together with them, he formed Brandeis University's first music department, where Shapero taught for over 30 years, eventually appointed professor of music in 1952 and founding and directing its electronic music studio. Among his students were Joel Spiegelman, Richard *Wernick, David Epstein, and Sheila Silver. Shapero wrote orchestral works, piano, and chamber music, in which traditional forms are combined with dodecaphonic techniques. His works earned a series of awards, including the Prix de Rome (1941) and a Naumburg Fellowship (1942). His compositions include Symphony for Classical Orchestra (1948); Credo for orchestra (1955); a Hebrew cantata Until Day and Night Shall Cease (1954), commissioned by the American Jewish Tercentenary Committee; and Three Hebrew Songs for tenor, piano and string orchestra (1988): They Who Sow at Night (S. Shalom), Eagle! Eagle Over Your Mountains (S. Tchernikowsky), Will There Yet Come Days of Forgiveness (L. Goldberg). As a pianist, he gave the premières of his keyboard and chamber works, also recording a number of them.


Grove Music Online.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.