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BLAKE ALLEN, PhD is an internationally recognized, award-winning composer, violist, and producer with a unique voice in contemporary music. Often merging the worlds of opera and musical theatre with traditional classical forms, Allen sits at the forefront of a surrealist, maximalist, and humanist world where his talents are only enumerated through the creation of a bespoke genre tailored to the brilliant artists he collaborates with.

 

An ex-Mormon, Allen's themes are imbued with a juxtaposition of darker, queer themes and a hypocritical meritocracy of Disney ideals. Allen's compositional credits include the shards of an honor code junkie (NoReverse Records, 2021; #1 Amazon Classical; #12 Billboard), FOLK WANDERING (Pipeline Theatre Co., 2019), Farmyard Follies, the film score to Conversion (2024 Gravitas Ventures), and his forthcoming, junior album INSOMNIA (2024) which arrives straight from Carnegie Hall. Upcoming: The Ceiling, a musi-opera based on the O. Henry Award Winning short story of the same name (2002) by Kevin Brockmeier.

 

Having lived in the classical world for most of his life, Allen's debut solo album, Sonatas (#4 Billboard; #1 iTunes Classical), was released in April 2020 – four years after its debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – and depicts the ethereal worlds of the deep sea and alien life in rural America, both scientific themes that permeate Allen's creative output.

 

In his music, Allen finds ways to blur simplicity with lush melancholy without falling into saccharine cliché. As an extension of the simplicity found in Richard M. Sherman's melodies, Allen's swoonful orchestrations have made him a recognizable force in the new music scene.

 

Allen received his PhD from New York University, where he created the singular, reductive analysis of György Ligeti's Viola Sonata. 

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Longer bio:

 

Allen's musical works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and luminaries such as Kristin Chenoweth, Renée Fleming, Rebecca Luker, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Keala Seattle, Norm Lewis, Sierra Boggess, Cady Huffman, Sherie Renee Scott, Jason Alexander, Lena Hall, and Jeanna de Waal, among many others.

 

Known for his innovative bridging of contemporary music and theater, Allen's works are “full of yearning and exuberance and affection” with “strings to make you swoon” (The New York Times). Heavily influenced by his Mormon upbringing and the vast, cultural landscapes of his hometown of El Paso, TX, Allen made his professional composer debut in 2016 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

 

Currenlty, Allen is preparing for the launch of his latest album, INSOMNIA, a professional, studio-recording of the Carnegie Hall debut concert of his two sextets in November 2022 while simultaneously wrapping up his PhD dissertation on Ligeti, his use of modern mathematics and linguistic stress patterns in Sonate pour Viola while also . Previously, Allen was music director and orchestrator of the 2019 Off-Broadway musical revival of Over Here! by the Sherman Brothers and the collaborator for RuPaul's Drag Race's star, Tina Burner for several years.  Allen’s original musicals include Folk Wandering, Boston|Nebraska, HOCKET, and Insomnia (2022 world premiere, Carnegie Hall; based on and inspired by the 1934 F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, “Sleeping and Waking”; text excerpted by permission of the estate), and Farmyard Follies. Allen also performs viola with the New York City Ballet. Allen’s film score for the feature-length documentary Conversion centered on conversion therapy survivors is slated to be released in the fall of 2022.

 

Allen has four chart-topping albums, with his autobiographical musical opera, The Shards of an Honor Code Junkie garnering four million streams since its December 2021 debut. Featuring GRAMMY, TONY, and Drama Desk award-winning talent, the album earned the #1 spot on Amazon Classical and Billboard Cast Albums charts. A coming-of-age story about a homosexual Mormon who embarks on a journey of self-love while challenging Brigham Young's staunch eight “Honor Code Rules,” opened up the conversation about LGBTQIA+ student treatment at universities with its themes of suicide, trauma, and self-love.

 

As an educator, Allen has been adjunct faculty in violin and viola at New York University’s Steinhardt School - Department of Music & Performing Arts, since 2012.  He holds degrees from New York University (Ph.D. candidate; Master of Music with Honors), Brigham Young University (Bachelor of Music with Honors), and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (graduate studies). For more information, visit https://www.blakeallen.org.

For more information, references, and resumes, please contact me.

 

 

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Photo by Michael Kushner

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