Born: May 13, 1951 - Everett, Washington, USA
Died: July 31, 2010 - Winthrop, Washington, USA.
The American conductor, keyboard player and teacher, George Shangrow, received his musical training at the University of Washington, where he studied conducting, Baroque performance practice, harpsichord, and composition.
George Shangrow began his professional conducting career at the youthful age of 18. In 1969 he founded the Seattle Chamber Singers in 1969 and and in 1979 Orchestra Seattle (formerly the Broadway Symphony). He concentrated his musical efforts with these two ensembles. He appeared as guest conductor with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Tacoma Opera, Rudolf Nureyev and Friends, East Texas University Opera, Oregon Symphony and the Sapporo (Japan) Symphony and other ensembles. He was Music Director and Conductor of Pacific Chamber Opera from 1976 to 1978. A musician with a broad range of skills, his repertoire included music of all eras with special emphasis on the Baroque and 20th Century literature. He conducted world premieres of six operas, in addition to classical opera, primarily of Mozart. and numerous other orchestral and choral works.
George Shangrow and his ensembles toured Europe several times and he performed throughout the USA as a chamber musician. As a keyboardist, he was a sought-after accompanist and appeared in recital with many Northwest artists. He concertized frequently at his homeland and abroad as part of the Cohan-Shangrow Duo with flutist Jeffrey Cohan. He appeared in concert on the piano and harpsichord with many noted soloists and ensembles such as El Trio Grande, the Kronos Quartet, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. He recorded with London Records, Voyager Records, Edel America, and Sonic Window Records and Lyman Digital Recording.
George Shangrow taught at Seattle University and Seattle Community College and was a frequent lecturer throughout the Northwest. His last post was on the faculty of the Seattle Conservatory of Music, where he teaught Music History, Conducting, and Literature.
George Shangrow served at the University Christian Church as Director of Music. Seattle music lovers also knew him as a regular announcer on Classical KING-FM and host of the “Live, by George” show, a nightly radio program featuring live, in-studio classical music performances.
George Shangrow was killed on Saturday July 31, 2010 when a car driven by a teenager crossed the centerline and slammed head-on into his car on Highway 20 during a driving rainstorm. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. When the accident occurred, Shangrow had been enroute to deliver a pre-concert lecture on American classical music as part of an annual Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival.