Photo by Michael Kushner
A proponent of, and advocate for, 21st century composition, BLAKE ALLEN frequently performs on his own albums and recordings while also commissioning other contemporaries to write works for him. Allen is currently finishing his PhD in Composition and Performance at New York University. The title of his dissertation is: "Towards a Musical Grammar: Text-Tune Relationships in Ligeti's Sonate pour Viola." Under the supervision of his chair, Dr. Panayotis Mavromatis, Allen's research focuses on creating a reductive and linguistic stress analysis of the viola sonata through a lens of fractals and an emulation of Bela Bartók.
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.
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, and many other recital venues. As the associate principal viola for The Little Orchestra Society Allen has been a soloist with the El Paso Symphony and Choral Chameleon. Allen has also recorded with Philip Glass, is a substitute violist with the New York City Ballet and The New York Pops, and also has performed with The Who, The Eagles, Pink Martini, and in Tootsie, Misery, and Notre Dame de Paris 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. With degrees from New York University (PhD(c); MPhil; M.M. with Honors), Brigham Young University (B.M. with Honors) and graduate studies at Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, Allen's principal teachers include Stephanie Baer, Dr. Claudine Bigelow, Masao Kawasaki, and Dr. Catharine Carroll.
For more information, references, recordings, and resumes, please contact me.