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Recognized as one of America’s major choral conductors, maestro Robert Shafer was honored in 2000 by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences at the annual GRAMMY® awards in Los Angeles, California with the GRAMMY® award for Best Choral Performance of the Year for the Washington Chorus’s live performance recording of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. In addition to this GRAMMY® award-winning recording, maestro Shafer prepared the Washington Chorus for the GRAMMY® award-nominated compact disc and film soundtrack recording of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov with Mstislav Rostropovich and the National Symphony Orchestra in 1988. Maestro Shafer has been music director of the Washington Chorus since 1970. He conducts the Chorus’s subscription series concerts and has prepared the Chorus for many of the world’s leading conductors. He has guest conducted the National Symphony Orchestra on several occasions, and has conducted choral performances for NBC national television. A student of the distinguished Nadia Boulanger, he has been noted for his compositions, having won first prize in composition at the Conservatoire Americain in 1969. His works have been performed throughout the United States and Europe, and when he served as music director at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, he composed and conducted a setting of Tu es Petrus in honor of Pope John Paul’s 1979 visit to the nation’s capital. Another setting of Tu es Petrus, which he wrote for the Children’s Chorus of Washington, was published by Boosey & Hawkes. Active as a teacher, maestro Shafer has been artist-in-residence and professor of music at the Shenandoah Conservatory of the Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia since 1983. In 1989, he was honored by the Virginia Council on Higher Education with an Outstanding Faculty Award for his outstanding public service, research and teaching. Maestro Shafer is the only teacher in the arts to have received this award since its inception.

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