American composer ROBERT SHAW died in New Haven, Connecticut. Born in Red Bluff, California he is most famous for his work with his namesake Robert Shaw Chorale, with the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Shaw received 14 Grammy awards, the first Guggenheim Fellowship ever awarded to a conductor, the George Peabody Medal for outstanding contributions to music in America, the American National Medal of Arts, France’s Officier des Arts et des Lettres, England’s Gramophone Award, and was a 1991 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.
Shaw was a champion of modern music from the beginning of his career. He commissioned a requiem for Franklin D. Roosevelt from the newly naturalized German-born composer Paul Hindemith, who responded with When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, a setting of Walt Whitman’s poem commemorating the death of Lincoln. Shaw led the premiere of the work in 1946 with the Collegiate Chorale and continued to champion the work well into the last decade of his life.
in 1996 he conducted a 50th anniversary performance at Yale University, where Hindemith was a professor when he wrote the work. In 1998 Yale also awarded Shaw an honorary doctorate. He was also a recipient of Yale’s Sandford Medal. Shaw also received the University of Pennsylvania’s Glee Club Award of Merit in honor of his vast influence on male choral music