– Robert Shaw on the Music of J. S. Bach
Robert Shaw (1916–1999) conducted the Robert Shaw Chorale from 1948 until 1967 and toured thirty countries at various times, all sponsored by the U. S. State Department. During this time the Chorale became a household name, with a popularity akin to today’s best known classical musical performers. Keith C. Burris did not overstate the situation when he wrote, “The Robert Shaw Chorale became the nation’s, and then the world’s, best-known and most-respected professional touring vocal ensemble” (Deep River: The Life and Music of Robert Shaw, p. 118). For Shaw, the highlight of the Chorale was the choir’s tour of Russia in 1962. “Shaw said so many times” (Burris, Deep River, p. 121).