Paul Shaw, pianist
Jamaican pianist Paul Shaw has appeared in recital, chamber music and as a soloist with orchestra on three continents, inspiring appreciative audiences and music critics alike in Asia, Europe and the Americas. A top prize-winner in the 1988 William Kapell International Piano Competition and the 1986 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he has performed to high critical acclaim at prestigious venues, including Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Beethovenhalle, Hall of the Americas and the Marlboro Music Festival.
Born in Falmouth, near Montego Bay, Jamaica, Mr. Shaw's interest in music began with a toy piano his mother purchased at Woolworth's to teach him everything she had memorized from observing her guardian, a Kingston piano teacher, in secret. By age eight he was sight-reading hymns for church services, and at sixteen he won the Howard Cooke Award for Excellence in Music, Jamaica's highest classical music award in the annual Festival of Arts competition. Subsequent advanced studies, courtesy of the Jamaican Government, French Government, and William Petschek, Maro Ajemian and Isabel Mason Scholarships, led to a ten-year affiliation with noted American pianist William Masselos and three degrees - Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts - from New York's famed Juilliard School.
Among Paul Shaw's many interests is an unbridled fascination with the medium of television. In a two-fold effort to attract young audiences and nurture upcoming talent in classical music, he performs an innovative, multi-media piano recital program with color slide and video accompaniment called Picturecital: Classical Music in Living Color; he is also developing Piano Talent on Parade, a showcase program for young pianists, which he will produce and host on Cable Television. On compact disc, Shaw has recorded Live from New York, it's Paul Shaw for Musika Records and James P. Johnson's stride piano classic, Yamekraw for piano and orchestra, on the Collins Classics label. As a leading exponent of the piano music of the Caribbean, Mr. Shaw is currently engaged in a multi-disc exploration of his musical heritage.