Alice Shields

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Alice Shields (born Alice F. Shields, Manhattan, New York, February 18, 1943) is an American composer. She is a respected electronic composer[1] particularly known for her work in opera. In an interview with Peter Shea in 2013, she talked about her early training, about her work as an opera singer (and how it connected to her work as a composer), her training in bharatanayam modes, and her work in the psychology of music.[2]

She is also trained as an opera singer, and since the 1990s has acquired skill as a performer of nattuvangam, a form of South Indian rhythmic recitation used to accompany bharatanatyam dance.

Shields earned a D.M.A. degree from Columbia University, where she worked at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center and studied composition with Jack Beeson and Vladimir Ussachevsky. Her 2008 opera Criseyde is based on Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, and is sung in Middle English.[3] It premiered at the New York City Opera VOX Festival in May 2009.[4]


  1. ^ "America's Women Composers: Up from the Footnotes". Author(s): Jeannie G. Pool. Source: Music Educators Journal, Vol. 65, No. 5, (Jan., 1979), pp. 28-41. Published by: MENC: The National Association for Music Education. Stable URL: Accessed: 27 June 2008 16:44.
  2. ^ The interview is available at
  3. ^ "American Music Center". American Music Center. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Spotlight on VOX: Alice Shields". New York City Opera. 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 

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