Elyakum Shapirra

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Elyakum Shapirra (1926-2014) [1] is an Israeli conductor who has appeared in a number of countries. (His names also appear as Eliakum and Shapira.)

He studied with Leonard Bernstein, becoming one of his assistant conductors at the New York Philharmonic.[2] He also studied with Serge Koussevitzky at Tanglewood, and at the Juilliard School.[1]

He was Assistant Conductor with the San Francisco Symphony. He led the New York Philharmonic on tours to Canada and Japan in 1960-61.[1] He was guest conductor with the University of the Pacific in 1961.[3] He became Associate Conductor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1962 to 1967.[1]

Robert Hall Lewis dedicated his Three Pieces for Orchestra (1966) to Shapirra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.[4]

He was appointed Chief Conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra in Sweden 1969-1974.[5]

Elyakum Shapirra was the first person to conduct Alexander Scriabin's Prometheus: The Poem of Fire in England with the coloured lighting that the composer called for. This occurred on 4 May 1972 at the Royal Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra.[6]

Shapirra conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and soloist Georges Pludermacher in the posthumous world premiere of Jani Christou's Toccata for Piano and Orchestra (1962), on 23 April 1973 in Oxford.[7]

From 1975 to 1979 he was the Chief Conductor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in Australia.[8] He has also been associated with the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands.[9]

Recordings[edit]

In 1972 Shapirra made the first commercial recording of Anton Bruckner's Symphony in F minor (Study Symphony), with the London Symphony Orchestra.[10] He has also recorded Bruckner's Overture in G minor with the LSO.

Other symphonic recordings include Leonard Bernstein's 1st and 2nd symphonies.[11] He has also recorded other standard orchestral repertoire with various orchestras, as well as Israeli, Yemeni and Yiddish songs with popular singers.[12][13]

References[edit]