Synopsis

Grammys. Lots of them. Civil Rights. Bach and Mozart. The Fall of the Berlin Wall. Despite very little formal musical training, Robert Shaw had an impact on more than just the world of music. As a symphonic conductor and the creator of exceptional choral values, his music towers as the gold standard today. His legacy however reaches far beyond the awards, album sales and even the musical history he made. The transcendence of his music reaches into the souls of who we are today.  Robert Shaw – Man of Many Voices is more than a great story. It is a chronological examination of his remarkable life and meteoric rise to national fame. And, it seeks to answer the many questions surrounding his success. Interspersed with archival film and peer interviews, the film explores Shaw’s beginnings in a small California town through the challenges and triumphs of his serendipitous and improbable career.

How did Robert Shaw repeatedly mold groups of unpaid amateurs into one inspired and beautiful voice?  Why did legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini declare Shaw “the maestro I have been looking for?”  How was Shaw able to create a world renowned, Grammy-winning orchestra and chorus in the heart of the “backward” South and alter civil rights history in the process?  The film looks deep into the more difficult aspects of Shaw’s life. The lifelong sense of insecurity. The maddening work ethic. The price paid in his personal life. A tremendous risk taker, Shaw took on more than one person could bear, leading to exhaustion and, at times, a lack of discretion. But again and again, he rises to the occasion and beyond it to take music to levels no one else had ever achieved. Even his harshest critics could not deny 16 Grammy Awards, nor his “Gold Album” – the first classical album in history to sell more than one million copies.

Kiki Wilson, Executive Producer will be available for Q&A.  Kiki is a passionate enthusiast of classical music and initiated the Robert Shaw documentary film project as executive producer. She is a 36-year veteran of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and sang with Robert Shaw for 18 of those years. Kiki holds a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from Northwestern University where she studied under Margaret Hillis, one of Shaw’s inner circle contemporaries.

 

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