Eric Allen, born in Portland, Oregon, is a multi-instrumentalist and composer living in New York City. He is an enthusiastic performer of new music, having performed with Contemporaneous, Ensemble Moto Perpetuo, Mimesis Ensemble, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, and ensemble mise-en. He is a strong improviser of many styles, and frequently performs with various jazz, singer-songwriters, and rock ensembles around New York. He is a founding member of the group Speed Bump, a string trio dedicated to performing their original compositions and unique arrangements of classical, jazz, and world music.
Eric’s compositional style is a direct result of his varied performing background, and often combines elements from different genres to create his compositional voice. This year, he received an Honorable Mention in New York Youth Symphony’s First Music young composer competition (Jazz). In 2013, he received an Honorable Mention in the Brian M. Israel Prize, and an ASCAP Plus Award. His recent compositions have been performed by Mr McFall’s Chamber, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, ensemble mise-en, the Quadraphonnes, and the Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble. In 2009, he was commissioned by the Portland Ballet to revise the score of La Boutique Fantasque for their annual Fall performances. He was a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop from 2010 to 2013.
Eric’s instrument of choice is the cello. He frequently performs in Off-Broadway musicals, and has played in professional orchestras such as the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, Portland Festival Symphony, and the Astoria Festival Orchestra. He is the recipient of the 2009 Mrs. Hong Pham Memorial Recognition Award for New Music Performance. Eric also plays trumpet, mostly in jazz bands, and has also given performances on piano, melodica, accordion, and bicycle.
Eric graduated from Indiana University with a master’s degree in cello performance where he served as an Associate Instructor of cello. He received his bachelor’s degree in cello performance and composition at Portland State University. Eric is currently studying Indian classical music and is a sarangi student of Pandit Ramesh Misra.