Bernard Scherr is an energetic composer-performer. His catalog includes over 100 works for orchestra, orchestra and chorus, orchestra and soloist, solo voice, chorus, wind ensemble, and various chamber ensembles. His orchestral works have been performed in California, Texas, and Europe, and he has received numerous commissions from professional and university ensembles. His chamber music is performed regularly across the US and he has a growing European presence. He has received readings of his music by notable performers such as Maria Jette at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, Karol Bennett and Phillis Bryn Julson at the Oregon Composers Forum, Continuum, and The Debussy Trio.
He earned a BA and MFA in music from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in music from the University of Oregon. His composition teachers include Robert Kyr, Kathryn Alexander, Harold Owen, Paul Reale, and Mark Carlson; his conducting teachers include Thomas Lee, Samuel Krachmalnick, and William Hatcher; his trumpet teachers include George Recker, Mario Guarneri, and Paul Francis Witt; and he has participated in or attended master classes with George Crumb, John Harbison, Donald Martino, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Shew, Christopher Hogwood, and Yehudi Menuhin.
His orchestral conducting experiences include performances and/or readings with the UCLA Symphony Orchestra, the University of Oregon Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Palisades Symphony, the Abilene Collegiate Orchestra, and the Hardin-Simmons University Orchestra. His musical theater conducting experiences include La Virgen Del Tepeyac–adapted by Luis Valdez for El Teatro Campesino–at the Japanese American Theater in Los Angeles and Cabeza De Vaca by Paul Humphries at the Royce Hall Experimental Theater in Westwood, California. He has conducted a variety of chamber ensembles including performances and/or readings with Third Angle, Talujon, the Oregon Boy Choir, and numerous premieres with the Oregon Composers Forum Concert Series.
The recipient of several awards at the University of Oregon, including the University of Oregon’s 125th Anniversary Composition Commission Competition, Dr. Scherr’s music has been recognized in competitions in Boston, Pennsylvania, and the Waging Peace through Singing Project in Oregon. As a vocalist and trumpet player, Dr. Scherr has premiered numerous works with the Oregon Composers Forum Concert Series and the Key City Brass Quintet. His book “Organ Preludes” is published by Zimbel Press and “Victimae Paschali Laudes” for orchestra is recorded on the VMM label.