Bringing Order Out of Chaos: A Century of Robert Shaw

March 31, 2016

Robert Shaw (1916-1999) was the most renowned choral conductor of the 20th century, and a major orchestral conductor as well. He led the Collegiate Chorale and the Robert Shaw Chorale, served as George Szell’s assistant conductor at the Cleveland Orchestra, and was music director of the Atlanta Symphony. He would have turned 100 on April 30, 2016. The Gilmore Music Library's exhibit features scores of Haydn’s Creation annotated by Shaw, correspondence with prominent persons ranging from Lukas Foss to Coretta Scott King, one of his famous chorus letters, photographs of Shaw throughout his long career, and all kinds of memorabilia, including his high school diploma, a Grammy Award, and three batons. It will be on display at the Gilmore Music Library from April 6th through May 27th 2016.

The Yale Glee Club is marking the Shaw centenary with two special events on April 9. At 3:30 PM in Battell Chapel, Ann Howard Jones (choral director emerita at Boston University, and one of Shaw’s closest associates) gives a lecture-demonstration on Shaw's rehearsal techniques with the Glee Club. At 7:30 PM in Woolsey Hall, Jeffrey Douma leads the Glee Club in a performance of Shaw’s edition of Haydn’s The Creation. Both events are free and open to the public. The exhibit at the Music Library features three items from The Creation, and one from Jones. Our title, Bringing Order Out of Chaos, refers to Haydn’s famous musical depiction of chaos at the beginning of The Creation, and also to the task that choral conductors face every day.

An online version of the exhibition is also available.