Allen Shearer has received many awards in music, including the Rome Prize Fellowship, the Aaron Copland Award, a Charles Ives Scholarship, residencies at the MacDowell Colony, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet The Composer and other organizations, and the Sylvia Goldstein Award, which funded performances in Davis and Sacramento of his Three Lyrics, a chamber work written at the Copland House. His choral works have been performed in nearly every state of the U.S. as well as in Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia, and South Africa. With librettist Claudia Stevens he has created seven chamber operas, all of which have been given staged productions. The first of these, The Dawn Makers, was premiered in 2009 at Herbst Theatre, San Francisco by Composers, Inc. The Dawn Makers was selected as a finalist in the National Opera Association’s Dominick Argento Chamber Opera Competition 2014-2016.The very successful premiere of his Middlemarch in Spring garnered praise and distinctions (see home page) and went on to subsequent productions. The three-act opera Howards End, America premiered in San Francisco in 2019 as a co-production of RealOpera and Earplay.
Also a baritone, Allen Shearer performs vocal music old and new, including his own, and has made several commercial recordings. He was artistic co-director of Composers, Inc. and is a founding co-director of the new music festival Sonic Harvest as well as a member of the board of Ninth Planet New Music. He holds a PhD in music from the University of California at Berkeley and diplomas in concert singing and opera from the Akademie Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He taught in Special Programs (voice) at the UC Berkeley until his retirement in 2019.
Allen Shearer is an affiliate of Broadcast Music, Inc. and a member of New Music USA, the American Composers Forum, and the National Association of Composers USA (NACUSA). He is an emeritus member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.