- For the mathematics professor, see Harold S. Shapiro. For the economics professor, see Harold T. Shapiro.
Harold Samuel Shapero (April 29, 1920 – May 17, 2013) was an American composer.
Early years 
Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, Shapero and his family later moved to nearby Newton. He learned to play the piano as a child, and for some years was a pianist in dance orchestras. With a friend, he founded the Hal Kenny Orchestra, a swing-era jazz band.
He was more interested in classical music, though. In his teens he studied with some famous teachers, including Nicolas Slonimsky (editor of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians) in 1936, and Ernst Krenek in 1937. At 18 he was ready to attend Harvard, where he studied composition with Walter Piston in 1938, and Paul Hindemith in 1940.
Tanglewood, a now cherished musical institution, was founded in the 1940s, and Shapero was one of its first students. When Igor Stravinsky was Norton Professor at Harvard in 1940, Shapero showed Stravinsky his Nine-Minute Overture. Shapero hoped to get the Overture played at Tanglewood in the summer of that year, but Hindemith ordered that no student compositions would be played that season. Fortunately, Aaron Copland hastily put together an Orchestra just to play student compositions deemed worthy, including Shapero's Overture. Shapero was awarded the Rome Prize in 1941 for his Nine-Minute Overture, but World War II prevented him from taking residency in Italy.
After graduating from Harvard in 1941, Shapero undertook further studies with Nadia Boulanger. While studying with Boulanger, Shapero was also in contact with Stravinsky, who was helpful in his critiques of Shapero's music.
Postwar years 
In 1945, Shapero married the painter Esther Geller. Throughout the rest of the decade they were often residents at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, an artists' retreat established by the widow of Edward MacDowell. There Shapero composed his Symphony for Classical Orchestra.
In 1951, Brandeis University hired Shapero and he later became chairman of the department and founder of its electronic music studio with the day's most advanced synthesizers. He taught at Brandeis for 37 years. His notable students include Gustav Ciamaga and Richard Wernick.
When awarded the Fulbright Fellowship in 1961, Shapero took the opportunity to travel to Europe with his family for a year. In 1970 he returned to Europe to be composer-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome.
In 1988, Shapero retired from Brandeis University to devote himself to composition. As of 2011, he was still actively composing for both acoustic and electronic instruments.
Shapero died on May 17, 2013 in Natick, Massachusetts, following complications from pneumonia (Bowles 2013).
Symphony for Classical Orchestra. The instrumentation is quite classical, with woodwinds in pairs, plus piccolo and contrabassoon, pairs of horns and trumpets, three trombones, three timpani, and the standard complement of strings.
While Shapero uses some modern notation in his scores, he employs only procedures that have already been established by other modern composers or that are derived from traditional notation.
Shapero won the Rome Prize in 1941 for the Nine-Minute Overture. The jurors were Howard Barlow, Howard Hanson, Leo Sowerby, Walter Piston and Albert Stoessel. The prize consisted of US$1000 and a residency in Italy, which Shapero was unable to take because of the war. The 2nd Annual George Gershwin Memorial Concert held on February 13, 1946 at Carnegie Hall in New York City featured one movement of Shapero's Serenade in D. This performance was part of a prize sponsored by B'nai B'rith Victory Lodge which also included publication (Shapero's first) with royalties and US$1000.
In 1946 Shapero won the Joseph H. Bearns Prize of US$1200 for the Symphony for String Orchestra. Shapero has also won two Guggenheim Fellowships (in 1947 and in 1948), two Fulbright Fellowships (in 1948 and in 1960), and a Naumburg Fellowship.
In the 1940s Shapero was closely associated with fellow Piston students Arthur Berger and Irving Fine in a "Stravinsky school" of American composers—a phrase first coined by Copland (Pollack 2001). He was also grouped in the "Boston school" along with Arthur Berger, Lukas Foss, Irving Fine, Alexeï Haieff, and Claudio Spies.
List of compositions 
- String Trio (1937)
- Five Poems of E.E. Cummings for baritone & piano (1938)
- Trumpet Sonata (1940)
- Nine-Minute Overture (1940)
- String Quartet (1941)
- Sonata for Piano, Four Hands (1941)
- Violin Sonata (1942)
- Three Amateur Sonatas (1944)
- Serenade in D Major for String Orchestra (1945)
- Variations in C minor for Piano (1947)
- Symphony for Classical Orchestra (1947)
- "The Traveler" Overture rev. as Sinfonia (1948)
- Piano Sonata in F Minor (1948)
- Credo for Orchestra (1955)
- "On Green Mountain" for Jazz Ensemble (1957)
- "Woodrow Wilson" Music for the television documentary (1959)
- Partita in C for Piano and Small Orchestra (1960)
- Three Hebrew Songs for Tenor, Piano & Strings (1988)
- "In the Family" for Trombone and Flute (1991)
- "Six for Five" for Wind Quintet (1995)
- Trumpet Concerto (1995)
- String Quintet in D, arrangement of Serenade in D (1998)
- Whittier Songs for Soprano, Tenor, Flute, Cello & Piano (2005–07)
- Bowles, Jerry. 2013. "Harold Shapero, Dead at 93". Sequenza21.com (May 18, accessed May 19, 2013)
- Copland, Aaron. 1948. "The New 'School' of American Composers". New York Times Magazine (March 14): SM18ff.
- Kennedy, Michael (2006), The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 985 pages, ISBN 0-19-861459-4
- Pollack, Howard. 2001. "Shapero, Harold (Samuel)". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. New York: Grove's Dictionaries.
- Pollack, Howard. 1992."Chapter 8, A Midcentury Masterwork, Harold Shapero's Symphony for Classical Orchestra". Harvard Composers: Walter Piston and His Students. Metuchen, N. J.: Scarecrow Press, Inc.
- Shapero, Harold. "The Musical Mind", Modern Music 23 (1946) pp. 31–35.
- "Statement from the Shapero Family". Sequenza21. Retrieved 5-18-2013.
External Links