Dr Christopher Shepard, Musicology Doctorate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, has been awarded the 2012 Julius Herford Dissertation Prize.
Dr Shepard received the international prize for his dissertation ‘Evolution and Revolution: J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor, BWV232 in New York City, 1900-1980’.
The annual prize, which is awarded by the National Research and Publications Committee of the American Choral Directors Association, recognises outstanding doctoral research projects in choral music.
The committee praised Dr Shepard’s paper as ‘an exhaustive study’ of the views of Baroque performance practice as it developed through the 20th century.
Dr Shepard received his PhD in Musicology from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney in 2012, where he worked the direction of Dr Kathleen Nelson.
Over the past decade and more, Dr Shepard has had a formidable music career in both Australia and the US. He was founding conductor of the Sydneian Bach Choir and Orchestra in Sydney from 2001 to 2008, and music director of BACH 2010, a project that performed all of Bach’s choral cantatas. In pursuit of his interest in music education, he also served as Director of Music at Sydney Grammar School from 2004 to 2008.
Dr Shepard is an accomplished pianist, harpsichordist and organist and has conducted many choral-orchestral ensembles in Australia and abroad.
Now residing in the US, Dr Shepard is Music Director of The Dessoff Choirs in New York City, which performs regularly with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Worcester Chorus, Massachusetts, the third-oldest community choir and one of the most distinguished choral groups in America.
Dr Shepard will be presented the Julius Herford Prize at the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division conference in February 2014.