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Begun in 2003 with concerts in Massachusetts and the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Shakespeare Concerts presents recitals by world class musicians of music inspired by the immortal bard. These pieces include settings of the original English text to settings in translation by composers from the classical period to the 21st century. The mainstay of the series is the music of Joseph Summer. Since its inception, The Shakespeare Concerts have premiered over two dozen of his sixty-odd Oxford Songs. In 2005, The Shakespeare Concerts released its first CD on Albany records, What A Piece of Work Is Man? The disc showcases eleven of the Oxford Songs, including five settings from Hamlet as well as sundry sonnets and songs from The Tempest and The Merchant of Venice. In October 2006, The Shakespeare Concerts released its second CD, Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day, a collection of works premiered during the third and fourth seasons.