Allen Shearer has an established reputation as teacher, performer, and composer. He has taught voice privately since 1964 and in the Music 150 program at U.C. since 1976. Trained in Europe as well as the U.S., he earned diplomas in concert singing and opera at the Akademie Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria as well as a Ph.D. in music at U.C. He studied composition in Paris on the Charles Ives Scholarship, and spent a year in Italy on the Rome Prize Fellowship. Knowledge of European languages and culture informs his teaching.
Active as a baritone, he has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, the Oakland-East Bay Symphony, Berkeley Opera, the Mendocino Music Festival, and on tour on the East Coast. He has appeared with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Earplay, Empyrean Ensemble, and Composers, Inc., of which he is an artistic director. His song recitals have ranged from the standard German and French repertoire to works of Schoenberg and Dallapiccola, and his own compositions.
As a composer, Allen Shearer has received many honors, including the Silvia Goldstein Award for a vocal work written at the Copland House. The National Endowment for the arts has funded several of his works. His choral music has been performed in nearly every state of the U.S. as well as in Europe, the former Soviet Union, and South Africa. His opera The Dawn Makers, produced in San Francisco in 2009, was a finalist in the National Opera Association’s Dominick Argento Chamber Opera Competition. The premiere of his opera Middlemarch in Spring was given a five-star review in the San Francisco Examiner and was named one of the Top Ten Operatic Events of 2015 by the San Francisco Chronicle, and Encyclopedia Brittanica named it among the most noteworthy new musical works world-wide in its Year-End Review. His current project is a new opera Howards End Again.