When I am asked about the roots of my work, I flounder in my response initially and am not clear.  Instead, I compare my work to others.  That’s just part of it.  Yes, I have written certain pieces that many other important people did not do.  That’s because they’re mine.
I think the real impetus for me are the thoughts I had in the hospital in March 2022 when Covid almost got me.  I had no idea that I would survive a Covid lung infection when my lungs were fully saturated with Covid and the medical reports I read later said I had kidney failure.
Who knows how I survived?  Large doses of antibiotic probably and fluids and luck.  This was months before a vaccine and Paxlovid.
But when I was in the hospital I thought about my loved ones and what I had written to date, and the meaning of it all.  And I came upon my raison d’être:
Why are we here, what have we done, and where are we going?
I thought perhaps that my musical creations come from a deeply felt acknowledgment about the clash between good and evil and our required space to repair the shards of glass that shattered at Creation.  Our purpose should only be, I think, creatively and between each other to bring back together disunity and clarify the most important things in life.
So looking at my Archangel, Voices, At the Shore of the Sea, The Slave, Second Symphony, Frankenstein-The Movie Opera, Passages, and In the Light of the Sun and all the other works, they certainly reflect that cosmic and yet personal view.  Opposing tyranny in all forms, recognizing the light in every living thing, rejoicing, and always fighting against the darkness.
So much more still to say and feel.

Latest News

  • Flutist Stathis Karapanos, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Michael Shapiro, recorded In the Light of the Sun, Concerto for Flute and Orchestraon April 24, 2024 at Abbey Road Studios newly renovated Angel Studio in Islington, London, U.K. 
  • The recording of In the Light of the Sun, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra by Stathis Karapanos, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Michael Shapiro, conductor will be issued in July 2024 on Paumanok Records and on all platforms such as Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, etc.
  • Ember Choral Arts conducted by Deborah Simpkin King performed the Manhattan and New Jersey premiere on Friday, May 17th, 2024 at 7:30 pm at the Actors’ Chapel, NYC and on Sunday, May 19th, 2024 at 5:00 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair of my Cultivo una Rosa Blanca for chorus and piano  based on the poem by Jose Marti. https://www.emberarts.org/current-season-1
  • After Ember’s NYC and NJ premieres of Cultivo una Rosa Blanca, Ember’s Annual Gala  honored my work at The Chart House, Weehawken, New Jersey on May 30, 2024.  For details, please visit https://www.emberarts.org/gala-2024
  • The Rockland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nicole Peragrine, performed The Babbling Orchestra for narrator, piccolo, and orchestra, text and narrated by Elliott Forrest, the Peabody Award winning Broadcaster and Producer, on June 16, 2024.
  • My Yiddish Quartet and Piano Quintet were performed by the Argus String Quartet with Steven Beck, piano, on April 30, 2023 at Bargemusic, Brooklyn, New York, and later recorded in June, 2023 at Abeshouse Studios.  The recording on Paumanok Records was issued in June, 2024 on all major platforms.
  • Frankenstein-The Movie Score will receive its Washington State premiere on Sunday, October 27, 2024 in Tacoma, Washington, by the Northwest Sinfonietta, conducted by Jeffery Meyer. 
  • Frankenstein-The Movie Score will also receive performances in October, 2024 at the University of Alberta, Canada, by its Symphonic Wind Ensemble conducted by Angela Schroeder on October 27, 2024 and at UMass Amherst by the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra.
  • My large scale work entitled Voices for tenor soloist, chorus, and chamber ensemble based on Sephardic poetry of the Shoah was premiered in NYC on November 9 and November 10, 2022 by Daniel Mutlu, tenor, Ember Choral Arts conducted by Deborah Simpkin King in Manhattan at Central Synagogue and in Westchester at Temple Shaaray Tefila and recorded for Paumanok Records, Adam Abeshouse, producer.  Paul Shaffer hosted the performance at Central Synagogue.  Both performances were streamed.  The recording is available on Spotify at:  https://open.spotify.com/album/0sb9kSGSIvSQB5Xe1UHtRL?si=1CyNpSBPT-qx66Dr96v3-Q
  • The West Coast premiere of Voices occurred on March 23, 2023 at the Reagan Library, Simi Valley, CA in a performance by the LA Master Chorale under Grant Gershon, hosted by Wolf Blitzer, anchor of CNN.  A video of the performance (including Wolf Blitzer’s introduction) can be seen on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/live/DLSz__OlNdk?feature=share
  • Here Is the link to the Central Synagogue performance:
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56Z5g9Ogy9Q&t=2926s

  • The new version of Frankenstein-The Movie Score using the Latin Requiem Mass as its libretto premiered at the Los Angeles Opera in October 2022 to sold-out audiences.  Michael Shapiro  conducted five remarkable singers from the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program and the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra at the historic movie palace built originally by United Artists in the 1920s and called The Theater at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.
  • The East Coast premiere of Frankenstein-The Movie Score took place at The Atlanta Opera, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, October 28, 2023 with Michael Shapiro conducting.
  • West Coast college audiences at Citrus College, Haugh Performing Arts Center, in Glendora, California were in for a special Halloween treat on Friday, October 27, 2023, as the Sierra Wind Symphony merges with High School string ensembles for a thrilling performance of Frankenstein-The Movie Score. 
  • Canadian audiences thrilled to Frankenstein-The Movie Score by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Julian Pellicano
  • Frankenstein-The Movie Score received its second performance by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra conducted by Matthew Kraemer at Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art) in September, 2023
  • And Frankenstein-The Movie Score returned to Los Angeles in its wind ensemble form by the South Bay Wind Ensemble on October 28, 2023 for a performance conducted by Steven Fox at the historic Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro, California.

I conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in London, November, 2023, in the music of my dear friend and colleague Danae Xanthe Vlasse with the great singer soloists Sangeeta Kaur and Hila Plitmann.

My Tending for band in the brilliant orchestration of Michael Markowski received its premiere on October 30, 2023 by the University of Memphis Wind Ensemble under Albert Nguyen.

My choral work Cultivo Una Rosa Blanca based on poetry of the Cuban author Jose Marti received its first performance by the Bronxville Choir, conducted by Maria Abeshouse, on Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at Pelham Memorial High School Auditorium, Pelham, New York.

My piano pieces Passages based on Biblical portions were premiered at Bargemusic in January 2022 and recorded by pianist Steven Beck.  The recording by Mr. Beck, also including Interludes and Bitter(Sweet) Waltzes, produced by Adam Abeshouse, is available on Paumanok Records and as a download on Spotify, Apple Music, Prime Music, and all the major platforms.

Pianist Lara Downes played Tending from Interludes at the University of Maryland, at the Mondavi Center in California, and at Wave Hill, Riverdale, New York.

This year and coming seasons other performances of Frankenstein-The Movie Requiem and Frankenstein-The Movie Score will occur in Tennessee, Arkansas, California, and Indiana as well as the Portuguese premiere at the Casa da Musica by the Remix Ensemble, Brad Lubman, conductor, U.K. premieres at the University of Liverpool and Chethem’s Music School in Manchester, by the Northern Film Orchestra, Melvin Tay, conductor, Italian premiere in Milan by the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, composer conducting, the German premiere at the Oper Trier, Philharmonisches Orchester der Stadt Trier, Trier, Germany, Andrey Litvinenko, conductor, and by the Western Piedmont Symphony, Matthew Thomas Troy, conductor, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Puerto Rico, Rafael Enrique Irizarry, conductor, the Steamboat Springs Music Festival, Mark Gould, conductor, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Matthew Kraemer, conductor, Albert Nguyen will again conduct the wind ensemble version with the University of Memphis Wind Ensemble at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis, and Daniel Belongia will conduct the Arkansas premiere with the Arkansas Tech University Wind Ensemble, and at Citrus College, Glendora, California.

Soprano Ariadne Greif has recorded my song cycles for Paumanok Records accompanied by the composer, which was issued in January 2021 on CD and download on the major platforms.

Cellist Christopher Ahn has performed on a Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience video broadcast my Eliahu Hanavi Variations for solo violoncello.

My Archangel Concerto for piano and orchestra was recorded by Steven Beck with me conducting the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as well as recording his Roller Coaster (premiered by Marin Alsop conducting the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra), Perlimplinito, Opera Sweet, A Lace Paper Valentine (entr’acte music from Shapiro’s first opera), and Widorama! (his arrangement of Charles-Marie Widor’s famous organ Toccata), which were premiered on BBC 3.

Some of these works are being featured on SiriusXM Symphony Hall Living American and Classics on Film programs hosted by me, and over eighty (80) public and commercial radio stations in the United States from New York to California, on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, via BBC 3 and Bradley Stoke Radio in the United Kingdom, Australian National Radio, Polskie Radio (Poland), and in South Africa.

My new work for band In Every One will be performed by the Kennesaw State University Wind Ensemble, David Kehler, conductor, in Georgia, University of Memphis Wind Ensemble, Albert Nguyen, conductor, in Tennessee, and Wind Symphony at Bowling Green University, Bruce Moss, conductor.  In addition at these universities, I will be active in teaching residencies with conducting and composition students.

Recent performances of my music to the classic talkie film Frankenstein included its European premiere at the Bergen International Festival by the Dragefjellets Musikkorps, conducted by Michael Shapiro, a repeat performance by the Dallas Winds, Jerry Junkin, conducting, at the Moody Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District; United States Navy Band, Captain Kenneth Collins conducting, at the AFI Silver Theater, Silver Spring, Maryland; Piedmont Wind Symphony, Matthew Thomas Troy, conducting, at Reynolds Auditorium, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra, James Tapia conducting, at Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse, New York; Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra, Jeffery Meyer conducting, at Gammage Auditorium in Phoenix and at Mesa Performing Arts Center, Mesa, Arizona; Rideau Lakes Orchestra, Alexandra Guerin conducting, at Mason Theatre, Perth, Canada; Livingston Symphony Orchestra, Anthony LaGruth conducting, at Mt. Pleasant School, Livingston, New Jersey; and the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, Jeffery Meyer, conducting, at Lendok Film Studio, St. Petersburg, Russia, the York Symphony and the Yakima Symphony conducted by Lawrence Golan, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Matthew Kraemer, conductor, Steamboat Springs Strings Music Festival, Mark Gould, conductor, Connecticut College Orchestra, Matthias Elmer, conductor, Wesleyan College Orchestra, Nadya Potemkina, conductor, Texas Woman’s University Wind Symphony, Carter Biggars, conductor, University of Hawaii Wind Ensemble, Jeffrey Boeckman, conductor, Rogue Valley Symphonic Band, Daniel Kocurek, conductor, Ashland, Oregon, and Sonoma State Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Andy Collinsworth, conductor.

My weekly broadcast show (appearing on the Crossover Media network, FaceBook, Vimeo, and YouTube, and as an Apple Podcasts), INTERPLAY, Conversations in Music, features guests such as JoAnne Falletta, Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne Galway, Ivan Fischer, Giancarlo Guerrero, Gerard Schwarz, Steven Isserlis, Alexander Soddy, Wayne Marshall, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Jerry Junkin, Arthur Fagen, Andrew Litton, John Mauceri, David Stern, Anton Nel, Leonard Slatkin, Tim Fain, Gil Shaham and Scott Wheeler, Eric Jacobsen, Carlos Kalmar, David Leibowitz, Gabriela Montero, Norman Lebrecht, Chee-Yun, Elliott Forrest, Garrett Keast, Lidiya Yankovskaya, James Robinson, Lara Downes, Sara Sant’Ambrogio, Adrian Partington, Simone Dinnerstein, Natasha Paremski, Blind Mississippi Morris, Jamie Bernstein, Daron Hagen, Alessio Bax, Lucille Chung, Maya Beiser, Michael Schelle, Andreas Haefliger, Deborah Simpkin King, Sarah McKoin, Robert Carnochan, David Kehler, Albert Nguyen, and Kevin Sedatole, Francesca Zambello, Martin Bresnick, Michael Christie, Anton Nel, Alexander Mickelthwaite, Alex Shapiro, James Tapia, Carolyn Watson, Kevin Suetterlin, and Mathias Elmer,  Jennifer Higdon, and the Frankenstein Monster.

Michael Shapiro’s compositions are published by Universal Edition/Wien.
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