NEWLY-DIGITIZED VIDEOS OF SHAW’S LANDMARK CARNEGIE HALL CHORAL WORKSHOPS,
MADE AVAILABLE ONLINE FOR FREE FOR THE FIRST TIME
Conductor Robert Spano Leads Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in
Shaw Centennial Celebration at Carnegie Hall this Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
Carnegie Hall’s Multi-Year Digital Archives Project
Continues to Preserve and Digitize the Hall’s Historic Collections
|In celebration of what would be renowned choral director and conductor Robert Shaw’s 100th birthday, Carnegie Hall will make newly-digitized videos encompassing eight years’ worth of landmark choral workshops led by Mr. Shaw at the Hall during the 1990s, available online for free for the first time, allowing viewers around the world the opportunity to observe this master musician and teacher at work.
Previously released by Carnegie Hall as the “Preparing a Masterpiece” series on VHS beginning in 1991, the videos have been newly digitized as part of the Hall’s ongoing Digital Archives Project, offering an in-depth look at Mr. Shaw’s preparation for performances of choral masterpieces by Brahms, Beethoven, Berlioz, Britten, Hindemith, Verdi, Haydn, and Mendelssohn. The featured material includes interviews with Mr. Shaw, guest soloists such as Nathan Gunn, Sylvia McNair, and Thomas Hampson, and workshop participants, along with rehearsal and concert footage displaying Mr. Shaw’s famously unique and exacting techniques. Volume 1: Part 1 and Part 2 featuring Brahms’s A German Requiem are now available on Carnegie Hall’s YouTube channel, with the remaining videos in the series to be published on Saturday, April 30.
In 1990, during Carnegie Hall’s centennial season, Mr. Shaw inaugurated the Hall’s ongoing series of professional training workshops, leading the Robert Shaw Choral Workshop—attracting the nation’s top choral professionals to study musical preparation and performance of choral masterworks—for its first eight years until his death in 1999. Earning multiple Grammy Awards, a National Medal of Arts, and the Kennedy Center Honors, Mr. Shaw is remembered today as one of the most brilliant minds in choral music.
In 1993, The New York Times wrote, “Attending one of Mr. Shaw’s workshops, or following his rehearsals…is something like getting to watch Horowitz practice. But better, because you would have to watch the young Horowitz when he was learning how to practice, since a choral director has to explain and create the technique all over with each new choir. And though the Carnegie videos can only give a glimpse, it’s a fascinating glimpse.”
Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1967 to 1988, Mr. Shaw founded the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus—a 200 piece ensemble noted for its stunning precision and tonal quality. This Saturday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m., the orchestra and chorus commemorate Shaw’s legacy on the exact date of his 100th birthday, with a performance at Carnegie Hall led by current Music Director Robert Spano and Chorus Director Norman Mackenzie. With soprano Jessica Rivera and baritone Nmon Ford, they will perform the New York premiere of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Zohar, co-commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Carnegie Hall for its 125 Commissions Project to honor Mr. Shaw’s ties to the ASO and Carnegie Hall, and Brahms’s A German Requiem, which was performed at Mr. Shaw’s first Carnegie Hall Choral Workshop concert in November 1990, now available for viewing on Carnegie Hall’s YouTube channel. Full program information is listed below.
Digital Archives Project
Today, the Archives is the permanent and official repository for Carnegie Hall’s historical collections including 125 years of concert programs; promotional flyers; select audio, video, and film recordings; photographs; autographs; musical manuscripts; correspondence and business records; architectural drawings, objects, and other materials that provide rich detail of the origin, history, activities, and growth of Carnegie Hall. Some of these items have been put on display to concertgoers and the public in Carnegie Hall’s Rose Museum, opened in 1991 and funded by the Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation.
The Digital Archives Project represents a new chapter in the development of the Archives. It enables Carnegie Hall to digitize most of these historic materials—many of which, until recently, have been available only on paper or in media formats likely to become obsolete—ensuring that the Hall’s legacy is preserved for future generations. It creates a dynamic digital repository designed to house digital legacy collections and to capture new content and materials developed by Carnegie Hall in support of its artistic and educational initiatives. As part of the project, archival materials will be made accessible in a much greater way—both on-site at Carnegie Hall and online via carnegiehall.org—in support of the Hall’s mission, serving the widest possible audience.
Lead support for the digitization of Carnegie Hall Archives has been provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and by the Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation. Digitization of the Robert Shaw Choral Workshop collection was made possible by support by the Grammy Foundation.
JONATHAN LESHNOFF Zohar (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
Sponsored by KPMG LLP
Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Public support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall’s Composer Club.
This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus’s performance at Carnegie Hall is made possible through deeply appreciated gifts from The Abraham J. & Phyllis Katz Foundation, the estate of Dr. Charles H. Hamilton, Harris Miller and Deborah Kahn, Mr. Judah Gudelsky, Victoria and Howard Palefsky, Ann Marie and John B. White, Jr. and generous gifts made in honor of Sue S. Williams.
Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
Photo at top of release courtesy of Chris Lee