Composer Allen Shawn (born 1948) grew up in New York City and moved to Vermont in 1985 to be on the music faculty of Bennington College. His teachers included Leon Kirchner, Earl Kim, Nadia Boulanger, and Jack Beeson. His works include a Symphony, Concertos for Piano, Violin and Oboe, two Cello Concertos, and a Double Concerto for Clarinet and Cello; music for string orchestra and other large ensembles; four Chamber Operas; choral, vocal and chamber music; eight Piano Sonatas and many additional piano works, including music for piano four-hands and two pianos. Recordings of his work on Albany Records include four volumes of piano music (TROY317, TROY1090, TROY1346, TROY1739/40); Chamber Music (TROY683); Allen Shawn Music for Cello (TROY1626); his Piano Concerto, performed by Ursula Oppens with the Albany Symphony, conducted by David Alan Miller (TROY441); and works performed by the Palisades Virtuosi (TROY1022) and the Chamber Music Conference and Composers Forum of the East (on TROY777). Additional recordings include the Chamber Opera The Music Teacher, with a libretto by his brother, playwright Wallace Shawn (Bridge Records); the CD Allen Shawn-Piano Music, performed by pianist Julia Bartha (Coviello); Three Dance Portraits performed by the piano duo ZOFO (Sono Luminus); and Improvisations with bassist Michael Bisio. An active pianist, Shawn is also the author of four books: Arnold Schoenberg’s Journey; Wish I Could Be There; Twin; and Leonard Bernstein-An American Musician.
Shawn’s “Aria-Caprice” was composed for Holger Michalski and Julia Bartha, and is dedicated to them. Their recording of the work is on the Albany Records CD, Allen Shawn: Fantasia and other pieces, released in Fall, 2022.