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This Day in Georgia History

January 25, 1999

Robert Shaw Died

To view an image of Robert Shaw with the Atlanta Symphony, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

Robert Shaw, music director emeritus and conductor laureate of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, died of a stroke at age 82 in New Haven, Conn.. In the late 1940s, Shaw organized the Robert Shaw Chorale, subsequently establishing a national reputation for chorale conducting. After serving with the San Diego and Cleveland orchestras, Shaw became music director and conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 1967. Under his leadership, Atlanta developed a major American orchestra, receiving national and international recognition. In 1988, Shaw retired, though continuing his association with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. During his career, Shaw won 14 Grammy awards, and at the time of his death was nominated for a 15th Grammy. In 1991, Shaw was recognized by the Kennedy Center, whose chairman termed Shaw “the dean of American choral conducting.”