“ ‘It’s about God, goddammit!’ Thus raged Robert Shaw,” writes Noel Morris in Tuesday’s (4/12) Atlanta Constitution-Journal. “In the spring of 1991, he was rehearsing a chorus of 600 in Atlanta for a performance of Mahler’s hymn of praise, the Symphony No. 8.” Shaw was music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for many years, and founded the ASO Chorus in 1970. “April marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Shaw. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will celebrate his legacy with performances at Symphony Hall April 14 and 16, then a concert at Carnegie Hall on April 30.… Shaw was a natural, if unlikely, musician who stumbled into an art form and revolutionized it. Born in 1916, he came from a long line of preachers.… In mid-career, while holding a respectable post as music director of the San Diego Symphony, he accepted a job as assistant to Hungarian maestro Georg Szell in Cleveland. Out of that, the man … got a worthy mentor; Szell got an exceptional chorus…. Looking back, one could very well argue that the preacher’s son from California did enter the family business. But, as Atlanta radio personality Lois Reitzes put it, ‘The concert hall was his sanctuary; and the podium was his pulpit.’ ”

Posted April 14, 2016

Photo of Robert Shaw by Cheryl Bray