Introduction: Phoenix-based cellist Matt Allen is quickly establishing himself as one of the leading young American cellists. Matt has won the gold medal in three of the world's most important competitions; the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition in Mexico, the Stulberg International String Competition in Michigan, and the Gaspar Cassado International Cello Competition in Japan, where he also received the highest spectator vote count for the Audience Award.
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 Matt on as a student immediately. After the passing of Mr. Georgiev, Matt resumed his studies with Greg Sauer. Matt also spent his high school summers at the Meadowmount School, studying with Hans Jorgen-Jensen.
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, Matt has been featured with a number of orchestras throughout the United States including the symphonies of Cincinnati, Midland(MI), LaGrange(GA), Tallahassee, Kalamazoo, Lexington(MI), Asheville, and El Paso. Concerto performances have also been with the Orquesta de Concurso de Carlos Prieto, Cobb Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Transylvania Symphony Orchestra, the Trinity Chamber Players, State Hermitage Orchestra of Saint Petersburg, Russia and the Tokyo Philharmonic. Mr. Allen has already been featured on the stages of the world's most prominent venues including the Terrace Theater of Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center, Chicago's Cultural 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, Matt made his international recording debut with David Popper's Hungarian Rhapsody alongside Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops for TELARC Records. Additionally, as a supplementary prize to receiving the Gold Medal at the Prieto International Competition, he will release a solo album on Urtext label.
Further studies have been at the Kronberg Academy Cello Meisterkurse, Pinchas Zukerman's Young Artist Programme in Ottawa, Ravinia's Steans Institute, and Itzhak Perlman's Chamber Music Workshop, including close studies with Gary Hoffman, Janos Starker, Frans Helmerson, Tim Eddy, Ralph Kirshbaum, and Alisa Weilerstein. Matt has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, Miriam Fried, Zuill Bailey, Don Weilerstein, Sergei Babayan, and members of the Cleveland, Cavani and Guarneri Quartets.
Matt studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Melissa Kraut and as a Young Soloist at the Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson.
Music is the language where nothing can be offensive and everything can be understood. Everything I do is to share my passion, whether on stage or by teaching.