Shapero, Harold

American-born composer. Professor of music, Brandeis University. Born, Lynn, Massachusetts, 29 April 1920. Shapero grew up in Newton, MA playing piano and joined Hal Kenny Orchestra, a swing band in high school. He studied with Nicolas Slonimsky and Ernst Krenek, attended Harvard studying composition with Piston and Hindemith, and graduated in 1941. Shapero attended Tanglewood where he premieredNine-Minute Overture and which won the Prix de Rome in 1941. In 1946, Shapero won the Joseph H. Bearns Prize for the Symphony for String Orchestra. In 1947, Leonard Bernstein premiered his Symphony for Classical Orchestra with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Shapero joined the faculty of Brandeis University in 1951 and helped to found the music department with Irving Fine. Shapero has also won two Guggenheim Fellowships (in 1947 and in 1948), two Fulbright Fellowship (in 1948 and in 1960), and a Naumburg Fellowship. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1961 and became a composer-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome in 1970. Shapero retired from Brandeis in 1988 to devote more time to composition. Shapero married the painter Esther Geller in 1945. They had a daughter, Hannah, in 1953, who also became a painter. Shapero was encouraged and found supporters in both Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. The Library of Congress Bernstein collection has some correspondence, dated 1940, where Copland introduces Shapero’s name to Bernstein: “…Just discovered a new ‘genius’ (born 1920!) in Newton, Mass of all places. The name is Shapero. Watch your laurels!”