Recipient of The 2017 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Christopher Allen was described in Opera News as "one of the fastest-rising podium stars in North America". He has led acclaimed performances with the Atlanta Symphony, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Philadelphia, English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Washington National Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Atlanta Opera, Daegu Opera House in South Korea and China National Opera Orchestra and Chorus. As The John L. Magro Resident Conductor for Cincinnati Opera, Allen has joined the company for three consecutive seasons, in addition to leading the Cincinnati Symphony in the annual Washington Park Concert each summer.
In the 2019/20 season, Allen returned to Florida Grand Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre to conduct Mozart Don Giovanni. He made his conducting debut at Arizona Opera in Puccini La bohème and was invitied to do so at Opera Omaha’s One Festival in Bellini I Capuleti e I Montecchi, and with Opéra de Montréal for Mozart Die Zauberflöte. He was also invited to return to Cincinnati Opera to conduct Verdi Aida in their 100th Anniversary Season. In the spring, he toured the United States as music director of the Bel Canto Trio and appeared in concert at Oper Frankfurt with tenor Joshua Guerrero.
Allen’s career was launched by the Bruno Walter Conducting Award and Memorial Career Grant and has been fostered by Plácido Domingo and James Conlon, who brought him to Los Angeles Opera as Associate Conductor. At LA Opera, Allen led the musical preparation for the acclaimed The Ghosts of Versailles, which won a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. He conducted the National Opera Association Award-winning production of Catán Florencia en el Amazonas at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and the new revised version of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, which was named Opera of the Year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In addition to earning recognition as a Musical America 'Artist of the Month' and one of their '25 Stars Still Rising'. Allen is a recipient of a Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Award and an International Opera Awards nominee.
Allen’s artistic pursuits extend beyond his role as conductor. He demonstrates his commitment to education through his work with young artists at Los Angeles Opera, Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, New England Conservatory, A.J. Fletcher Institute at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Aspen Music Festival and School. As an award-winning pianist, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and mostly recently on film in La voix humaine, starring Patricia Racette and directed by James Darrah. He is currently working on a writing and film project that explores the importance of the arts in modern American society.
When not in rehearsal or onstage, Allen enjoys his work as a multimedia visual artist and playwright.
Allen’s sensitive conducting elicited a high degree of poetry and dramatic momentum from the score
It was a performance that was at once supportive, unassuming, and richly musical. Perhaps it's no surprise then, that Christopher Allen is being noticed.
Conductor Christopher Allen, in his company debut, led from the harpsichord, where he kept the outstanding MOT orchestra light on their figurative feet and still had time to drop in a few tongue-in-cheek Wagner references