Introduction - Thomas Schippers

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Having risen to fame in the conducting world in such a brief time, it is difficult to understand why Thomas Schippers, following his untimely death from cancer at the age of forty-seven, was all but forgotten. The music world remained largely indifferent following his death and astonishingly little has been written about him. There are few commemorative events of any sort nor is there any significant amount of biographical information available.
He made a large contribution to American cultural life by championing various important American composers such as Samuel Barber, Ned Rorem, and Frank Proto, among others, and presenting their works with a most perceptive interpretation. A brilliant conductor of symphonic literature, his direction of the opera repertoire was, without doubt, where he felt most in his element.
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