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Mark Shapiro

Mark Shapiro

Director of Choral StudiesAssociate Professor of Music

B.A., Yale UniversityGraduate Performance Diploma, Orchestral Conducting, Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University
Diplome de direction d’orchestre, Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris
D.M.A., Choral Conducting, Stony Brook University


The versatile conductor Mark Shapiro enjoys working with orchestras, opera companies and choruses. A four-time ASCAP award winner for adventurous programming, Dr. Shapiro is one of a handful of conductors in the United States to have won these coveted awards, including the Alice Parker Award, as the leader of more than one organization.

Dr. Shapiro is Artistic Director of Cantori New York; Music Director of the Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra of New York, which performs twice annually in Carnegie Hall; and Music Director of the Prince Edward Island Symphony. For twenty years he was Artistic Director of the Monmouth Civic Chorus in New Jersey. Dr. Shapiro’s additional credits as an instrumental and opera conductor include appearances with Juilliard Opera at the Juilliard School; American Opera Projects at Zankel Hall and the Rubin Museum; Underworld Opera; Works&Process at the Guggenheim Museum; The Actors Studio; Opera Company of Middlebury; Mannes Opera at Mannes College the New School for Music; the Center for Contemporary Opera; the Banff Centre; and PBS, where he conducted the soundtrack for Ric Burns' special on New York City. Dr. Shapiro has worked extensively in France and also has conducted in Singapore and Brunei. He has collaborated with outstanding artists including Metropolitan Opera singers Harolyn Blackwell, Sasha Cooke, Barbara Dever and Angela Meade, new music specialists Makoto Nakura and Nadia Sirota, and Tony-Award winners Victoria Clark and Maryann Plunkett.

A specialist in new and neglected repertoire, Dr. Shapiro has given a large number of regional, national and world premieres. The many important recent European composers whose work he has championed include Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Friedrich Cerha, Pascal Dusapin, Giya Kancheli, Maurice Ohana and Erkki-Sven Tuur. Dr. Shapiro conducted a rare revival of Sofia Gubaidulina’s seminal work “Perception,” for voices, strings and tape, with the composer in attendance. American composers whose music Dr. Shapiro has premiered include Tom Cipullo, Paul Crabtree, Shawn Crouch, Michael Dellaira and many others.

Dr. Shapiro and Cantori New York have been presented by Great Performers at Lincoln Center and at Le Poisson Rouge by the Gotham Early Music Scene; they were featured in the opening season of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in collaboration with Michael Tilson Thomas. Dr. Shapiro has been a regular guest conductor with the chamber orchestra Nova Sinfonia in Halifax and a frequent cover conductor for the Bridgeport Symphony, which he also conducted in a joint appearance with the noted soprano Harolyn Blackwell.

Dr. Shapiro has released five commercial CDs, one of which was named an Editor's Choice by Opera News. His recording of Michael Dellaira’s opera “Chéri” features Marni Nixon (the “singing voice” of Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady” and other films).

Each summer Dr. Shapiro directs the Conducting Program at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, a training institute in the Nadia Boulanger tradition. His activities as a clinician, adjudicator and panelist include the Philadelphia Music Project, Chorus America and Forte Festivals. He has taught at Rutgers University, William Paterson University and Mannes College the New School for Music.


Choral, Operatic and Orchestral Conducting; New Music; Music Cognition


  • Author, review of William Ford Thompson’s “Music, Thought and Feeling,” published in The Choral Journal
  • Author, “Everyday Music: Arnold Schoenberg’s Sketches to ‘De Profundis,’” published in The Choral Journal
  • Author, review of Nicholas Harnoncourt’s “The Musical Dialog,” published in The Choral Journal


  • “The Metamorphoses of Paul Crabtree,” Arsis Records (2009)
  • “Cheri,” Albany Records (2009)
  • “Five by Michael Dellaira,” Albany Records (2002)
  • “Le Vin Herbé,” Newport Classics (2000)
  • “Echoes and Shadows,” PGM Records (1997)


  • Music Director, The Saint Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra
  • Artistic Director, Cantori New York (appearances include Great Performers at Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, Trinity Concerts, Teatro Grattacielo at Avery Fisher Hall, Zankel Hall)
  • Artistic Director, The Monmouth Civic Chorus (1990 - 2011) (Repertoire includes “Requiem” of Brahms, Mozart, Verdi; “Sea Symphony” of Vaughan Williams; “Stabat Mater” of Rossini and Szymanowski; “Missa Solemnis,” “Choral Fantasy” and “An die Freude” of Beethoven; “Vespers” of Rachmaninoff; and rarities and premieres by Guillaume Connesson, Gustav Holst, Ulysses Kay, Peter Mennin, Albert Roussel, Ethel Smyth.))
  • Guest Conductor, Bridgeport Symphony, Gregg Smith Singers, Nova Sinfonia (Halifax))
  • Music Director and/or Conductor, “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Golden Gate,” “The Magic Flute,” “The Merry Widow,” “Most Happy Fella,” “Old Wicked Songs” (Two River Theater) “Ragtime” (Cabaret for Life), “Yeomen of the Guard” and others.


  • Special Citation for Programming from the American Prize
  • Recipient, Two Chorus/America ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Program
  • Recipient, Chorus America/ASCAP Alice Parker Award
  • CD named an Editor’s Choice by Opera News
  • Honorary Citizen of Chatillon, France


Past and present memberships and affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, the College Music Society, the League of American Orchestras, Opera America and the Society for Music Perception and Cognition.