(b Boston, 21 Nov 1949). American composer. She studied composition with Milton Babbitt, Otto Luening, Jacob Druckman, J.K. Randall, Peter Westergaard and Gunther Schuller, earning degrees from Douglass College, the Juilliard School of Music and Princeton University. Founder of the Virginia Center for Computer Music, she has taught at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, where she has also served as chair of the McIntire School of Music. Among her numerous honours are Juilliard’s Abram Ellstein Award (1973) and commissions from the Kronos Quartet and the Women’s PO.
Shatin’s early works, which employ acoustic instruments in conventional solo and ensemble contexts, later gave way to a style combining electronic and acoustic sound. She has described this development by explaining: ‘As I [became] fascinated by the intertwining of electronic and acoustic, my sense of music [grew] to include the rumble of machines in a working coal mine, the crunch of a potato chip, the blast of a shofar, the clink of a fork against a cup’. Her preoccupation with timbre, characterized as an ‘exploration of timbral edges’, has led to experiments with computer-generated digital synthesis and processing; her works often feature improvised acoustic responses to electronic tape or live electronic music.