Nancy Allen, First Prize Winner of the 5th International Harp Contest in Israel in 1973 was hailed by the New York Times, as “a major artist” following her New York recital debut in 1975. She joined the New York Philharmonic in June of 1999 as Principal Harpist. She maintains a busy international concert schedule as well as heading the harp departments of The Juilliard School, Yale School of Music, and the Aspen Music Festival and School.
In addition, Ms. Allen appears regularly with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. In May 2000, Ms. Allen was featured in the Philharmonic’s United States premiere of Siegfried Matthus’ Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra, with Music Director Kurt Masur and Principal Flute Robert Langevin.
Ms. Allen’s busy performing schedule includes solo appearances at major international festivals, and has featured collaborations with soprano Kathleen Battle, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, guitarist Manuel Barrueco, and flutist Carol Wincenc. She has appeared on PBS’ Live From Lincoln Center with The Chamber Music Society, as well as with Ms. Battle, and has performed as a recitalist for “Music at the Supreme Court” in Washington, D.C. Ms. Allen’s recording of Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro with the Tokyo Quartet, flutist Ransom Wilson, and clarinetist David Shifrin received a Grammy Award nomination; she can also be heard on Sony Classical, Deutsche Grammophon, and CRI.
Ms. Allen is a native of New York, where she studied with Pearl Chertok and undertook private studies on piano and oboe. The summer of 1972 took her to Paris, where she studied with Lily Laskine. During that same year, she entered The Juilliard School to study with Marcel Grandjany. In 1973, Ms. Allen won the Fifth International Harp Competition in Israel, and was later awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Award.
A teacher for more than 20 years, Ms. Allen’s students hold positions in prominent orchestras around the globe. She currently resides in New York with her eight-year-old daughter, Claire, who studies piano and cello.