John Clay Allen
Originally from Ruidoso, New Mexico, John Clay Allen is an American composer and pianist. His music is a synthesis of post-minimalist and spectralist styles, with an underlying predilection for the romantic. His music values the timbral and textural over the traditional note unit, and uses electronics to extend the realm of acoustic possibility. His body of work ranges from pieces for soloist and chamber ensembles to full orchestra, wind symphony, and opera.
Allen's compositions have been performed across the United States and internationally at festivals including SEAMUS, CICTeM in Buenos Aires, the Cortona Sessions in Italy, and the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. Recent commissions include works for the Boulder Symphony, Pendulum New Music’s Spark Award, sAge Brass, the Boulder Altitude Directive, and Ajax string quartet. Allen has been a fellow at New Music on the Point and the Charlotte New Music.
As a performer, Allen frequently appears as a conductor and collaborative pianist, and has performed across the United States. Passionate about education and outreach, Allen has taught lessons and classes in composition, piano, and music technology for nearly a decade and is a founding member of the Equinox New Music Collective, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing new music to new audiences.
Allen is on faculty at Metropolitan State University of Denver and serves as artistic director for Pendulum New Music at CU Boulder.