Recipient of The 2017 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, Michigan Opera Theatre, 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.
For the 2021-2022 season Allen conducted the broadcast of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Rising Stars concert. This summer, he makes 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 include I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Opera Omaha, and Die Zauberflöte at Opéra de Montréal. In 2022, Allen returns to Arizona Opera for Carmen, and Cincinnati Opera for Aida. Other projects this season include a workshop of Iain Bell’s mondramas Comfort Starving/The Man with the Night Sweats, the release of Opera Philadelphia’s film 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.
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 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. 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. Allen is also the Creative Director of Shokat Projects, a production company dedicated to the creation of new, interdisciplinary works.