Player Spotlight ~ Ken Allen ~ Violist

Opus 716 viola, 17¼” Gasparo da Salò Cutaway, 2011
Opus 854 baroque viola, 17¼” Gasparo da Salò Cutaway, 2014

Ken Allen, violist“Over the years I’ve grown to appreciate more and more the great variety of colors I’m able to produce on both of my Douglas Cox violas. I discovered the first one after many months of trying some very fine instruments in shops in and around Boston. I’d just about set my heart on one, but decided it might be worth exploring outside Massachusetts. The first place I visited was Doug’s studio and the first scale I played on the first viola I picked up was absolutely magic! I was as much impressed by Doug’s friendliness and dedication to his craft as I was by the quality of his instruments."

Baroque Viola Opus 854Violist Ken Allen is a founding member of Trio Notturno, as well as a member of the American String Teachers Association, American Viola Society, Boston Musicians' Association, and Early Music America. Ken is an active chamber and orchestral musician and has performed with many ensembles in the Greater Boston area and beyond, including: the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Boston New Music Initiative, Boston Opera Collaborative, Cape Symphony, Commonwealth Lyric Theater, Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra, Lexington Symphony, Lowell House Opera, Mercury Orchestra, MetroWest Opera, MIT Summer Philharmonic Orchestra, New England Philharmonic, New England Repertory Orchestra, Opera Brittenica, and Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a classically trained pianist.

After completing undergraduate and graduate degrees in English at UNC-Chapel Hill and at Harvard and then working at the Boston College Law Library, Ken earned his Master of Music degree in Viola Performance from the Boston Conservatory, where his viola teachers were Lila Brown and Leonard Matczynski. He also studied string pedagogy with Rictor Noren and was coached in chamber ensembles by Lynn Chang and Ina Zdorovetchi at the Boston Conservatory. He has performed in master classes for Elizabeth Blumenstock, Sheila Browne, Helen Callus, Levon Chilingirian, Gabriela Diaz, Dr. Susan Dubois, John Harbison, the Jupiter String Quartet, Michelle LaCourse, Karl Paulnack, and Karen Ritscher.

Upcoming performances and more about Ken are on his new website: allenviola.com

Photo of Ken Allen © Dana Muldoon 2011
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