Scope and Content
Title: Charles Shere Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1945-[ongoing]
Collection number: ARCHIVES SHERE 1
Shere, Charles, 1935-
Extent: Number of containers: 6 document boxes and 1 oversize
flat storage box
Linear feet: 2.417
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Shelf location: For current information on the location of
these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Charles and Lindsey Shere in October 1997.
Collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in
writing to the Head of the Music Library.
[Identification of item], Charles Shere Collection, ARCHIVES SHERE 1, The Music Library,
University of California, Berkeley.
Shere, Charles (b Berkeley, CA, 20 Aug 1935). Composer. He attended the University of
California, Berkeley (BA in English literature, 1960), and then studied composition with
Luciano Berio at Mills College, Oakland, and with Robert Erickson at the San Francisco
Conservatory and privately, and conducting with Gerhard Samuel. He was music director for
the radio station KPFA, Berkeley (1967-74), and later produced music programs for KQED,
San Francisco (1967-1974). From 1973 to 1984 he lectured in composition and the history
of music at Mills College. Admired as a writer, he was from 1972 music and art critic for
Oakland Tribune and from 1973 to 1978 edited and published
Ear, a monthly magazine devoted to avant-garde music. His continuting interest in
art led Shere to write and produce television programs on the artists Marcel Duchamp and
Georgia O'Keefe, among others; he also lectures frequently on art and has done scholarly
research on West Coast painting. Shere has received commisions from the San Francisco
Comtemporary Music Players, and the Arch Ensemble, Berkeley, and in 1978 was awarded a
composition grant by the NEA.
Shere's music is rooted in the experimentalism of the 1960's and owes something to Cage
and Stockhausen in its technical procedures. But the principal creative model for him is
Duchamp, whose perceptual conundrums and whimsical arcana are reflected in many of
Shere's scores, especially his "Duchamp opera,"
The Bride Stripped Bare by her
(1964-; planned premiere 1986).
and extended essay in glossolalia for chamber ensemble and speaker/singer, typifies his
deft blend of wit, lyricism, and complex verbal and musical symbolism.
The New Grove Dictionary of American Music].
Scope and Content
The collection is divided into three series: Music Compositions, Sound Recordings, and
Miscellany. The Music Composition series is further subdivided into seven subseries:
Concertos, Other orchestral works, Stage music, Choral music, Chamber works, Instrumental
works, and Songs. These subseries are designated by David Meckler, a student of Shere,
who orignally arranged the collection before transferring to the University of
California, Berkeley. Although the collection consists mainly of compositions by Shere,
other materials such as correspondence, programs, and reviews may be added to the
collection later and rearrangement of the Miscellany series may be warranted.
The materials date from circa 1954 to the present.