George Shangrow, well-known musician, killed in crash

George Shangrow, well-known musician, killed in crash
George Shangrow
WINTHROP, Wash. - A well-known Seattle music director was killed Saturday when a car driven by a teenager crossed the centerline and slammed head-on into his car on Highway 20 during a driving rainstorm.

George Shangrow, 59, founder of the Seattle Chamber Singers and Orchestra Seattle, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

When the accident occurred, Shangrow had been enroute to deliver a pre-concert lecture on American classical music as part of an annual Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, the Wenatchee World reported.

State troopers responded to the scene, about one mile east of Winthrop, at about 5:50 p.m. Saturday. The crash closed the highway for six hours.

An investigation found that a 2000 BMW driven by a 16-year-old Twisp boy was heading west on Highway 20 as Shangrow has driving east in a 2005 Volvo, the Washington State Patrol reported.

The BMW crossed the centerline into the eastbound lane and crashed into Shangrow's Volvo. There was a pounding rainstorm with thunder and lightning at the time of the crash.

The 16-year-old suffered a broken collarbone and ankle in the accident.

Drugs or alcohol were not a factor in the collision, the Washington State Patrol said.

Shangrow was a well-known fixture in the Seattle classical music scene. For many years he hosted "Live, by George," a Seattle radio show that featured live classical performances.

He also had appeared as guest conductor with the Seattle Symphony, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Tacoma Opera, Rudolf Nureyev and Friends, East Texas University Opera, Oregon Symphony and the Sapporo (Japan) Symphony.

He was music director and conductor of Pacific Chamber Opera from 1976 to 1978 and has conducted world premieres of six operas and numerous other orchestral and choral works.