Sunday, November 14, 2010

Remembering George Shangrow

George Shangrow was a leader and key inspiration of/to the Seattle music community for over 40 years. We attended a memorial concert for him, since he died in a traffic accident in July while on his way to speak at a concert in the Methow Valley.

George had a broad knowledge of music, was an excellent performer and accompanist on harpsichord and the inspiration and driving force for the orchestra/chorus he founded:

Orchestra Seattle - Seattle Choral Society

His enthusiasm moved many people. My long-time work friend Fritz Klein has been the concertmaster of Orchestra Seattle for decades, working closely with George. He greatly enjoyed working with George, calling him The Energizer Bunny!

Tonight's concert was in the huge main hall of Benaroya Hall. How could OSSCS afford that? Because it was donated, since George filled it many times. The program was a sampler, because everyone wanted to do everything. With so many short pieces it was disjointed. Fortunately for the second half they focused on just two pieces.

I was astonished to learn that George died at age 59, because a year ago I went to the first concert of OSSCS's 40th season. 40 years! The only was to do that was to start it - at first just the chorus - when he was 18 years old. And he did.

The photo: George Shangrow with his concertmaster and my friend Fritz Klein in the background. From Seattle Times. Click to enlarge.

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