Shane Conley


Hometown:Redondo Beach, CA

Alma maters: California State University Long Beach, 2020–21, McGill University, 2016–20, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts 2013–16

Photos by Sandi Conley


Awards/Competitions: Grand Prize Finalist, 2016 Music Center Spotlight Award

Appearances: Aspen Music Festival, 2017; soundSCAPE composition and performance exchange, 2018; Sibelius Summer Academy, 2019; Orchestre de la Francophonie, 2021

What is your earliest memory of classical music? I remember watching Disney’s Fantasia 2000 as far back as my memory goes. My favorite animation from the film was—and still is—the adaptation of Stravinsky’s Firebird.

Which composer or genre of music do you feel most connected with? If it counts as a genre I would say large chamber music, 5–12 players. Playing in groups of this size comes closest to every musician acting as a fully realized agent.

Who is your biggest inspiration? My younger sister Shannon for her kindness and authenticity.

What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it? If I’m talking about “western classical music”: Mahler’s 9th Symphony, The Rake’s Progress, and Ma mére l’Oye. I love them first because they are beautiful, each in different ways, but I feel they are all in some sense about dealing with the end of classical music as a historical project.

Favorite non-classical musician or band? I could never say a favorite, but some that come to mind in no particular order are MF DOOM, Mike Seeger, Pete Seeger, Tricot, Stan Rogers, Tigran Hamasyan, Snail Mail, Kendrick Lamar, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Kanye.

Piece of advice for a young classical musician: Think honestly about why you play.