“…16-year-old cellist, Matthew Allen of Tallahassee…played it [Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody] with flair, ease and stunning tone.”
(Cincinnati Enquirer, 2008)
Cellist Matthew Allen is already establishing himself as one of the leading young American cellists. At the age of 17, Mr. Allen was named by the jury, from 60 cellists up to age 30 representing 24 countries, the Gold Medalist in the Gaspar Cassado International Violoncello Competition in Hachioji, Japan, also winning the highest spectator vote count for the Audience Award. Mr. Allen won his first international competition at the 2008 Stulberg International String Competition, taking the gold medal at only age 16. Further success has awarded him 1st place in the ASTA National Solo Competition, 1st place in the NFMC(National Federation of Music Clubs) Young Artist Award, 1st place in the Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Competition, and top prizes at the Johansen International Competition and Irving M. Klein International String Competition.
The Florida native began studying cello at the age of four with his father. After winning his first competition at the age of 8, he was introduced to the cello professor at Florida State University, the late Lubomir Georgiev. Mr. Georgiev, a prized student of the legendary cellist and teacher Janos Starker, took Mr. Allen on as a student immediately.
He gave his first solo performance with orchestra and solo recital at the age of 11. Embarking on a solo career with a commanding repertoire of over 20 concerti, Mr. Allen has been featured with a number of orchestras throughout the United States including the symphonies of Cincinnati, Midland(MI), LaGrange(GA), Tallahassee, Kalamazoo, Asheville, and El Paso. Concerto performances have also been with the Transylvania Symphony Orchestra, State Hermitage Orchestra of Saint Petersburg, Russia and the Tokyo Philharmonic. Mr. Allen has already graced the stages of the world’s most prominent
venues including the Terrace Theater of Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, and the Cleveland Orchestra’s Severance Hall, performing Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante for a sold out audience and live broadcast on Cleveland’s WCLV 104.9.
At age 16, Mr. Allen made his international recording debut with David Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody alongside Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops for TELARC Records.
Summer studies have included the Meadowmount School, Pinchas Zukerman’s Young Artist Programme in Ottawa, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, and Itzhak Perlman’s Chamber Music Workshop. Mr. Allen’s mentors have included Janos Starker, Frans Helmerson, Tim Eddy, Ralph Kirshbaum, Alisa Weilerstein, Andres Diaz, Zuill Bailey, Miklos Perenyi, Steven Isserlis, Sergei Babayan and members of the Guarneri, Cleveland, and Emerson Quartets.
Mr. Allen’s teachers have included Lubomir Georgiev, Owen Carman, Greg Sauer, and Hans Jorgen-Jensen. He currently studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Melissa Kraut.