Short bio:

Blake Allen, an award-winning composer, arranger, orchestrator, and musician, is known for his innovative bridging of contemporary music and theatre. His works are "full of yearning and exuberance and affection" with "strings to make you swoon" (NYTimes).

Allen's latest album, Sonatas, debuted #1on the iTunes Classical Charts (where it stayed for 2 weeks), 'Top 40' on the iTunes Top 100 Albums, and #4 on the Billboard Classical Charts. Sonatas features Grammy-Nominated pianist, Christopher Koelzer, violinist Emily Uematsu, and cellist Susan Mandel. 

 

Having performed with The New York Pops, Little Orchestra Society, The Who, The Eagles, Pink Martini, Philip Glass, and in Tootsie and Misery on Broadway, Allen can be seen and heard on Broadway, film, TV, streaming, and as Adjunct Faculty at New York University. 

 

Allen made his composer debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is most known for being the music director and orchestrator of the first NYC revival of the Tony-Winning Sherman Brothers musical OVER HERE! as well as being the creator and musical director of the sold-out, hit series "An Evening With...". Allen's shows include Folk Wandering (Off-Bway 2018); the shards of an honor code junkie (Off-Bway 2017); Kelly [1955] (NYTF 2019); Livin' the Dreamboat (APAC, 2020); Boston|Nebraska; HOCKET.

 

Allen is also the traveling music director for famed drag queen Marti Gould Cummings. Together their album, A Very Marti Holiday, raises funds for the Ali Forney Center, as well as being featured on the record-breaking television show Shade: Queens of NYC

Allen is also the Artistic Director for Traguna Productions.

Long Bio:

Known for his innovative bridging of contemporary music and theatre, Blake Allen is an award-winning multifaceted composer, arranger, orchestrator, and musician. Heavily influenced by his Mormon upbringing and the vast, cultural landscapes of his hometown of El Paso, TX, Allen made his professional composer debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2016 (Piano Quartet, "The Session"). 

Most recently, Allen was the musical director and new orchestrator for the record-smashing 2019 revival of the Sherman Brother's Over Here! at the Triad Theatre starring Tony-Winner Debbie Gravitz, Haley Swindal, Jessica Hendy, and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (dir. Will Nunziata). 

As a musician, Allen has performed on Broadway in Misery and Tootsie as well as with the New York Pops, The Who, The Eagles, Little Orchestra Society (Assistant Principal Viola), Westchester Philharmonic, El Paso Symphony, Las Cruces Symphony, and on many albums, TV episodes, and film scores. Allen is also an avid performer of modern music for the viola (post 1990) having given the New York Premiere and Canadian Premiere of Judith Shatin's "Penelope's Song" (original viola version). 

Allen's band, The Whobethems, can be heard bimonthly at the series Allen also produces and music directs, An Evening With... (@aneveningwithseries). The sold-out, hit series, which is currently in its third season at Green Room 42, is deemed "the miracle on 42nd street" by BroadwayWorld. AEWS explores the legacy of major 20th Century musical figures with new arrangements, Broadway talent, and dynamic multimedia. Nominated for a whopping 7, 2019 BroadwayWorld Awards, AEWS won Best Recurring Series and Best Vocalist (for Christine de Frece). An Evening With... Volume 1, which features arrangements from AEWS' first season, was nominated for Album of the Year at the Broadway World Awards, and is available now on streaming and iTunes. The album includes "Tennessee Waltz" and the first commercial recording of Richard M. Sherman's "A Kiss Goodnight".

Currently, Allen is the music director and arranger for famed drag queen Marti Gould Cummings. Together they have performed at Lincoln Center (Best Special Event, 2019 BroadwayWorld Awards), Broadway by the River, around the world, and even the seven seas! In 2017, they partnered on the album A Very Marti Holiday to benefit the Ali Forney Center. The album was also heavily featured on the record-breaking show Shade: Queens of NYC on Fusion TV, which Allen also arranged, orchestrated, and music directed several episodes. The album also features Daphne-Rubin Vega, Tony-Winner Cady Huffman, Olivier-Winner Lesli Margherita, and 2-time Grammy-Winner Tim Young. 

 

Allen won the 2019 GLAM Award for Best Cabaret for his work with Tina Burner and Alan Cumming's lower east side Club Cumming for the show Witch Perfect, the first in a series of cult films turned into drag cabarets. Blake is the music director and music supervisor for these sold-out shows (including How the B**** Stole Christmas and First Knives Club). 

 

Blake's theatrical shows include the 'wistful and epic' Americana musical Folk Wandering (Off-Broadway 2018, Pipeline Theatre Co.); the autobiographical musical, the shards of an honor code junkie (World Premiere 2017, The Trevor Project); Boston|Nebraska, a musical based on Willa Cather’s words and life; HOCKET, a gay fantasia on hard drugs; the hour-long thriller Kelley [1955] (New York Theatre Festival 2019); and Tonight, Only at KC's (Grant and Residency 2019 KHN Center). Blake is currently working on Obsession as well as his new comedy, The Fifth of May. Allen recently wrote Livin' the Dreamboat with lyricist/book writer Claire Tran, which premiered as part of Astoria Peforming Art Center's The Insiders during the Pandemic/Quarantine of 2020. Allen is also writing the score to Salty Brine's Winter Roses All Around Us. 

 

In addition, Allen's violin sonata L'Abîme premiered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017 and his cello sonata 'Music for Kelly' (the soundtrack to the play Kelly [1955]) was recorded in February 2019 by Emily Umeatsu, Susan Mandel, and Grammy-Nominee Christopher Koelzer on the album Sonatas. The album was released Earth Day (April 22) 2020 and debuted #1 on the iTunes Classical Charts and #4 on the Billboard Classical Charts. 

 

Allen's work has been performed or recorded by award winning artists including: Daphne Rubin-Vega, Keala Settle, Cady Huffman, Sherie Rene Scott, Jason Alexander, Lena Hall, Mary Testa, Alison Fraser, Lesli Margherita, Debbie Gravite, Teal Wicks, Grace McClean, Tamika Lawrence, Kristy Cates, Jessica Hendy, Cree Carrico, Bonnie Milligan, Tim Young, Ryann Redmond, and many others.

 

Allen has also arranged for Steven Sater, Dave Malloy, Richard M. Sherman, Rob Fisher, Bob the Drag Queen, Gary William Friedman, Tracie Thoms, Jenn Gambatese, Leslie Kritzer, Aisa de Haas, Marty Thomas, Christine Dwyer, and the Miss'd America Pageant.

 

Furthermore, Allen has been Rob Fisher's music assistant since 2011. As such, Allen served as Music Assistant on Live From Lincoln Center's Ring Them Bells (PBS) and the Emmy-nominated, New York Philharmonic's production of Carousel (PBS), as well as worked on the Broadway Productions of Tony-Winning An American in Paris and Living on Love

Allen was a 2014 full scholar artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre as well as a 2020 resident at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center.  

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Blake is a sponsored artist of the Garfield Center for the Arts. 

 

 

photo by Kai Ravelson

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