He was Assistant Conductor with the San Francisco Symphony. He led the New York Philharmonic on tours to Canada and Japan in 1960-61. He was guest conductor with the University of the Pacific in 1961. He became Associate Conductor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1962 to 1967.
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.
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.
In 1972 Shapirra made the first commercial recording of Anton Bruckner's Symphony in F minor (Study Symphony), with the London Symphony Orchestra. He has also recorded Bruckner's Overture in G minor with the LSO.
Other symphonic recordings include Leonard Bernstein's 1st and 2nd symphonies. He has also recorded other standard orchestral repertoire with various orchestras, as well as Israeli, Yemeni and Yiddish songs with popular singers.
- David Cummings, International Who’s Who in Music and Musicians Directory
- Time magazine, 17 October 1960, The Three Davids
- University of the Pacific
- Robert Hall Lewis Collection
- Malmö Simfoniorkester
- Kenneth Peacock, Instruments to Perform Color-Music: Two Centuries of Technological Experimentation
- Seen and Heard International
- ABC Media Release
- Igor Markevich 1912-1983
- 2001 Bruckner Marathon
- Shoshana Damari
- My Hound