Composer Allen Shearer received the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, the Charles Ives Award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, four residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the first-ever residency at the Aaron Copland House. The National Endowment for the Arts has funded major works of his orchestral, choral and chamber music, as well as his first opera The Goddess. His three most recent operas (2009-12), including The Dawn Makers, all on libretti by Claudia Stevens, have received successful, fully staged productions. As the recipient of three commissions by Chanticleer, his choral works have been performed throughout the US, in many cities in Europe, the former Soviet Union, and South Africa. He is an Artistic Director of the new music presenter Composers, Inc. and an affiliate of BMI.

Librettist Claudia Stevens has a distinguished career as pianist, monologue artist and playwright. She has received NEA “New Forms,” International Theatre Institute, and twelve Virginia Commission for the Arts grants to create and perform her original work – a body of some twenty musical monologue pieces; artist residencies including the MacDowell Colony, RS9 Studio in Budapest, Baltimore Theater Project, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Gitameit Music Center in Rangoon, Burma, and scores of universities. Several of her solo plays and her libretto for A Very Large Mole appear in the poetry journal Exquisite Corpse. Claudia holds degrees in music from Vassar (summa cum laude), UC, Berkeley and the DMA from Boston University.