Henry Shapard, Principal Cello

Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair

Henry Shapard, 21, was appointed Principal Cello of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in March of 2020. Before joining the VSO, he briefly held the position of Principal Cello of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, where he was appointed by the RIPO’s Artistic Adviser—and Music Director Emeritus of the VSO—Bramwell Tovey.

Henry is a two-time fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he received the Karl Zeise Memorial Cello Award. He has also performed across Germany and Denmark as a member of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra.

In May 2020, Henry graduated with distinction from Yale University with a degree in History, where he was named Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the Bach Society Prize, the Sharp Prize, the Selden Memorial Award, and the Berkeley College Arts Prize. At Yale, he was a student of Ole Akahoshi and served as Principal Cello of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, where William Boughton became another important mentor. Henry served as the assistant conductor of the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Berkeley College Orchestra and the Saybrook College Orchestra. He led Low Strung, an all-cello rock group at Yale, on tours to China, Singapore, and across the USA.

Henry has spent the COVID-19 period as the cellist of the New Fromm Players of the Tanglewood Music Center, working remotely to develop widely applicable techniques for real-time performance of contemporary music over the internet.