Allen Shawn’s work as a composer and pianist comprises a large catalogue of orchestral and chamber music, chamber operas, songs, piano music, and music for ballet, theatre, and film; he is also celebrated for his writings on Arnold Schoenberg and Leonard Bernstein, as well as his compelling memoirs.
A composer of a large catalogue of orchestral and chamber music, Shawn has also composed three chamber operas, songs, piano music, and music for ballet, theatre, and film. He was the recipient of a 1995 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and an Academy Award in music from the Academy in 2001. His music is recorded on Opus One, Bay Cities, Northeastern, Sono Luminus, and Albany records and is published by Boosey and Hawkes, Galaxy Music, and GunMar Music. He is active as a pianist and is the author of four books: Arnold Schoenberg’s Journey (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002); Wish I Could Be There (Penguin, 2007); Twin (Viking, 2011); and Leonard Bernstein: An American Musician (Yale University Press, 2014), as well as articles for The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, The Musical Times, The Times Literary Supplement, and The New York Times Magazine. BA, Harvard; study with Nadia Boulanger; MA, Columbia University. Shawn has taught at Bennington since 1985.