Randall (Randy) Shinn composes operas and concert music. This official website contains information on his works, audio samples, and biographical information, as well as some of his writings.


Reviewers have called Shinn’s music “passionate,” “lyrical," and “lusciously beautiful.” Other reviewers have described his works as “sophisticated,” and “spell-binding.”

One reviewer wrote that Shinn integrates “modern music and language with more familiar classical styles to create a sound that is uniquely his.” Another writer wrote that:

Shinn’s interest as a music listener are broad—he might dance to a blues band one night and attend an opera production the next. So he finds it natural to write music with unexpected combinations of material. The influences on his music are just as broad, and his manner of dealing with these multiple influences has become a distinctive musical fingerprint.—Peter Laki, Phoenix Symphony program notes, 1992


Trained as a performer (M.Mus., French horn, University of Colorado), Shinn began composing music in his teens. He was self taught as a composer until entering the doctoral program at the University of Illinois, where he studied with Ben Johnston. Johnston encouraged Shinn to continue developing idiosyncratic ways of integrating his interests in classical and vernacular music. (For more, see Biography.)


Shinn has written original librettos for three operas. His interest in the theater spills over into a general interest in imagination and magical atmosphere. For two years he was chief correspondent for DeepGlamour.net, where he wrote posts about various aspects of glamour (including its older meaning of enchantment and magic). His Musings on this website explore some of his aesthetic preferences.