"One of the most important inspirations for my career and my music-making was my apprenticeship at the Oregon Symphony Orchestra with Music Director James DePreist and Resident Conductor Murry Sidlin. For the Oregon Symphony, Maestro Murry Sidlin had created concert programs that were really dramas presenting music in an historical context. I am undoubtedly influenced today by his innovative programming and try to always consider a thread to tie programs together, whether thematic or historical, but mostly I remain inspired in my music-making by his deep passion and belief in music to speak when words cannot.
James DePreist was perhaps the most elegant, uplifting and profound human being I have ever met. He was unbelievably brilliant and learned - a modern renaissance man who spoke six languages and had fifteen honorary doctoral degrees and the National Medal of Arts. I remember a concert he conducted without rehearsal of Wagner's Prelude from Tristan et Isolde. It felt improvisatory...yet the orchestra went with him. It was one of the most amazing performances I have ever heard. And yet my favorite of James DePreist's poems from The Distant Siren is the antithesis of the spontaneity he inspired in his performances."
Allen will share more of his inspirations and ideas on life, art, and music in his upcoming blog launching soon.