Music at Columbia: The First 100 Years

Music Performance: Recent Years > Howard Shanet

Howard Shanet conducting the University Orchestra

Photograph, no date

Columbia University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library


In 1972, Howard Shanet, then chairman of the Department of Music and conductor of the Columbia Orchestra, was named the University’s first Director of Music Performance. Artists-in-residence strengthened the department’s faculty and its commitment to American music and to lesser-known works. Well known professional musicians with active performing careers were appointed to the instrumental teaching faculty. The orchestra, composed primarily of students, has a significant record of first performances and commissions during a period when many professional orchestras were following a far more traditional and less venturesome route.


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