Biography

Photo by Lauren Osborne

Photo by Lauren Osborne

Shawn Brogan Allison’s music has been described as  “playful and inventive” (Chicago Sun-Times), “vividly imagistic” (Lucid Culture), “smartly crafted,” “lyrical, otherworldly,” and “intriguing” (Chicago Classical Review). The Chicago-based composer and saxophonist has worked with ensembles and organizations such as eighth blackbird, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Contempo, ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), The New Fromm Players, Spektral Quartet, Third Coast Percussion,  The Cadillac Moon Ensemble, The Esoterics, and Cantus. His awards include a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Tanglewood Fellowship, the Polyphonos competition (U.S. Composer category winner), a Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, the Jerome Commissioning Competition, and the Max Janowski Young Artist Award. His music has been selected for performance at the Bowdoin, SICPP, Tanglewood, Wellesley, and Fast Forward Austin festivals. His work, Towards the Flame has been released on the album Atlas on New Dynamic Records, performed by the Cadillac Moon Ensemble.

Shawn grew up in Newport News, Virginia, where he began his musical education as a saxophonist. He holds degrees in composition and saxophone performance from St. Olaf College (B.M.) and Ithaca College (M.M.). He has participated in master classes with Tristan MurailGeorge CrumbOliver KnussenJohn Harbison, and Mark-Anthony Turnage. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Composition at the University of Chicago, where he has studied composition with Augusta Read Thomas, Shulamit Ran, and Marta Ptaszynska.

Featured Recordings

Live Performance by eighth blackbird

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for two alto saxophones, mallet percussion, and piano

live performance by Zach Herchen, Philipp Stäudlin, Ryan Packard, and Aaron Likness, June 26th, 2011

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Events