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Photo by Alex S K Brown

A proponent of, and advocate for, 21st century composition, New York City-based violist BLAKE ALLEN continues to distinguish himself as a versatile orchestral, chamber, and solo musician. Allen has been a viola substitute with the New York City Ballet since 2021 and has sat assistant principal viola with the joyous Little Orchestra Society since 2012. Frequently performing on his own albums and recordings, Allen also proudly commissions other contemporaries to write works for him.

 

Allen has given solo performances to great acclaim at the Banff Centre and Strathmore Music Center of which included the NY, European, and Canadian premieres of Judith Shatin's Penelope's Song for electronics and viola. Allen has been the only violist to perform all of Shatin's solo works for viola on the same evening since their individual premieres (in recital with the solo works for viola of Ruth Schonthal). Allen has also concertized with fellow legendary violist Karen Ritscher, "bang on a can", and many other contemporary music groups throughout New York City and Europe.

 

Allen has performed at major halls throughout the USA including Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, The Allen Room, Symphony Space, 54 Below, Green Room 42, and many other recital venues. Allen has been a soloist with the El Paso Symphony and Choral Chameleon and has performed for Philip Glass, The New York Pops, The Who, The Eagles, Pink Martini, and in Notre Dame de Paris, Tootsie, and Misery on Broadway, as well as  many Off-Broadway productions, and on several albums and soundtracks. 

As an educator, Allen has been Adjunct Faculty in violin and viola at New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development since 2012. He is currently a PhD candidate examining mathematics and fractal-like development in György Ligeti's Sonate pour Viola (1991–1994) through musical, rhythmic, and linguistic perception.  With degrees from New York University (PhD(c); M.Phil.; M.M. with Honors), Brigham Young University (B.M. with Honors) and graduate studies at Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, Allen's principal teachers have included Stephanie Baer, Dr. Claudine Bigelow, Masao Kawasaki, and Dr. Catharine Carroll. 

Allen plays on a 1988 Nicholas Frirz Viola and a 1951 Cremona bow. 

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

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