Recipient of The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Christopher Allen is featured 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, Detroit 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, Maestro 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 2022, Allen conducted the broadcast of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Rising Stars concert, and made his debut with the National Symphony in the STARias concert at Wolf Trap, followed by a subscription concert with the Korean Symphony Orchestra. Other debuts included Die Zauberflöte at Opéra de Montréal and Des Moines Metro Opera, and I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Opera Omaha. Projects this season have included Opera Philadelphia’s film and audio recording of La voix humaine starring Patricia Racette and directed by James Darrah, and an album release for Beneath the Sky, featuring works by American composers and Allen at the piano. Most recently, Allen conducted Carmen at Arizona Opera, Aida at Cincinnati Opera and La Traviata at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, before returning again to the Kansas City Symphony for Handel’s Messiah.
Other highlights for this season will include: Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, appearances with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, the Atelier at the Opera de Montréal (in a concert curated by Allen), and the West Los Angeles Symphony at Royce Hall, followed by a return to Cincinnati Opera for Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
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. 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. He recently received the Young Alumni Award from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Allen’s artistic pursuits extend beyond his role as conductor. He demonstrates his commitment to education through his work with young artists at Aspen Music Festival, Los Angeles Opera, Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opéra de Montréal’s Atelier lyrique, New England Conservatory, A.J. Fletcher Institute at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and University of Missouri – Kansas City. Allen has been heard on NPR speaking about the importance of the arts in American society. As an award-winning pianist, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
When not in rehearsal or onstage, Allen enjoys his work as a multimedia visual artist and playwright. His artistic short film NIOBE, that he wrote and directed during the COVID-19 lockdown, was selected by numerous film festivals. It has gone on to win awards for Best First Time Director, Best Screen Dance Short, and Best Dance Film. He resides in New York City with his wife and two kids.