Peter Allen

Peter Allen. Composer, organist, keyboard player, producer, b Ottawa 18 Feb 1952; B MUS (Manitoba) 1975.

Allen, Peter

Peter Allen. Composer, organist, keyboard player, producer, b Ottawa 18 Feb 1952; B MUS (Manitoba) 1975. After studying composition with Robert Turner and Boyd McDonald at the University of Manitoba and 1976-7 with Bruce Mather, Alcides Lanza, and Bengt Hambraeus at McGill University, Peter Allen toured extensively playing keyboards in show and rock bands until 1980, when he became organist at St. Mary's Cathedral, Winnipeg. He was organist and composer for the papal mass in Winnipeg in 1984 and was in-house composer and producer for Century 21 Studios in Winnipeg 1985-6. In 1986 he moved to Los Angeles to study film scoring techniques at the University of Southern California and the University of California at Los Angeles. His compositions, ranging in style from avant-garde electroacoustical music to commercial jingles to sacred music for congregational use, were performed on CBC radio and TV, for Music Inter Alia and IZ music concert series, and by such artists as Boyd McDonald, the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers, and the Winnipeg Singers. Peter Allen is a member of the Canadian League of Composers and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre, and was a founding member of the Manitoba Composers Association and of the Canadian Electroacoustic Arts Alliance.

Peter Allen moved to BC in 1988, where he opened his own recording and sound production studio. He has composed music for over 50 feature films in all genres, as well as for numerous TV series and documentaries, including the National Film Board's The Other Side of the Picture. He wrote the theme music for the CBC's international broadcasts of the 1994 Commonwealth Games, as well as for baseball games broadcast on CTV. His score for the feature film Flower & Garnet won a 2003 BC Leo Award.

He should not be confused with Peter Charles Allen, a Nova Scotia pianist and composer (b 1961); or with Peter R. Allen, a composer and choral conductor (b United Kingdom 1944).


Further Reading

  • Flohil, Richard. "Versatility in Vancouver," Canadian Composer, May 1989