|Born||Blake Liahona Allen|
July 21, 1988
Early Life and Education
Allen was born in Tucson, Arizona to Latter-Day Saint parents San Liahona Allen and Marsha Lynn Wilcox. He was raised in El Paso, Texas. Allen began studying piano privately with his mother at age 3. He picked up violin starting at age 10 and switched to viola at age 16 when he studied with El Paso Symphony Orchestra's principal violist Guillermo Quezada.
Allen received his Bachelor of Music in String Performance from Brigham Young University in 2010 where he then went on to the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. Allen studied privately with Dr. Claudine Bigelow, Masao Kawasaki, and Dr. Catharine Carroll. Allen subsequently moved to New York City to study viola with Stephanie Baer and recieved his Master of Music from New York University Steinhardt in 2014. While at NYU, Allen studied composition with Joseph Church and song writing with Billy Seidman and Alex Forbes.
Allen was one of the orchestrations, 10 credited composers, and 8 lyricists in Pipeline Theater Company's 2018 production of Folk Wandering. Allen also played the viola and violin in the production. The New York Times called the score nostalgic and "gorgeously played [...] with strings to make you swoon."
Allen's biographical musical which tackles Mormon homosexuality and suicide at Brigham Young University had it's world premiere as a benefit concert for the Trevor Project in 2017. The production included Tony Award nominee Alison Fraser, Teal Wicks, Laura Shoop, Michael Lowney and opera singer Cree Carrico. Allen's other work include the Willa Cather musical Boston|Nebraska, the twisted musical thriller HOCKET, and the 60-minute horror play Kelly .
Allen is also New York City drag queen Marti Gould Cumming's music director, having made a holiday album together featuring Daphne-Rubin Vega, Tony Award Winner Cady Huffman, Olivier Award Winner Lesli Margherita, Grammy Award Winner Tim Young, among others. This album Allen has also written for Sherie Rene Scott, Jason Alexander, Mary Testa, and Kristy Cates while working with such artists as Tracie Thoms, Jenn Gambatese, and Leslie Kritzer.
Allen made his composer debut at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2016 as part of the ETHEL Balcony Series with his "Sessions for Piano Quartet." Violinist Adrianna Mateo commissioned his L'abîme ou poèmes pour violon et piano which debuted in the series in 2017 with pianist Christopher Koelzer.
Allen worked as Rob Fisher's music assistant from 2012 - 2018.
As a violist, Allen performed on the soundtrack for Michael Friedman's score to the Broadway play Misery as well as sitting principal viola in the Little Orchestra Society and being a substitute violist in the New York Pops and Westchester Philharmonic. Allen has been a soloist with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and Choral Chameleon.
Allen married drag queen and politician Marti Gould Cummings in 2017. Their first year of marriage was partially featured on Fusion TV's Shade: Queens of NYC.
- the shards of an honor code junkie (2017)
- Folk Wandering (2018); composer, lyricist, orchestrator, violin, viola.
- And the angels in the nighttime
- A Very Marti Holiday (2017)
- "Folk Wandering Musical Opens Off-Broadway | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
- "New Musical "Shards Of An Honor Code Junkie" Tackles Gay Mormons, Suicide". LOGO News. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
- "Review: 'Folk Wandering,' a Wistful Musical Full of Story and Searching". The New York Times. 2018-03-24. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
- "Alison Fraser, Teal Wicks Set for New Musical That Shines Light on LGBTQ Suicide | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
- Desk, BWW News. "New Musical BOSTON|NEBRASKA To Have First Staged Reading". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
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