Keith Allen was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London, then undertook post-graduate studies at Birmingham University and Kingston University, with a Master’s Degree from the University of West London. He played clarinet and saxophone in numerous orchestras, including working with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
His previous positions include: Saxophone Tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire; Head of Birmingham Music Service; Consultant Editor: Faber Music Ltd. His current positions include: Music Director: Birmingham Symphonic Winds; Festival Director: National Concert Band Festival – the UK’s largest wind band & big band festival; ‘conductor in residence’ with Birmingham University Wind Band; Conductor: Solihull Youth Wind Orchestra and member of the Advisory Board of the London International Music Festival.
His busy schedule includes adjudicating across all musical genres at numerous festivals in the UK, as well as guest conducting in America, Spain, Latvia, Ireland, Hong Kong, Australia, China and the UK. Keith Allen founded Birmingham Symphonic Winds in 1992 and since then have achieved an unparalleled track record both nationally and internationally with more accolades for musical enterprise and excellence than any other wind orchestra in the UK. With a dedication to the creation and performance of contemporary works for this medium, BSW has premiered over 50 pieces (many of them commissions) from British, American and European composers, including Malcolm Arnold, Benjamin Britten, David Bedford, Mark Camphouse, Nigel Clarke, Michael Daugherty, Jonathan Dove, Martin Ellerby, Kenneth Hesketh, Nigel Hess, David Maslanka, Mike Mower, John Rutter, Philip Sparke, and Guy Woolfenden both in the UK and abroad. Keith Allen with BSW have recorded CD’s for Faber Music, Studio Music. Bandmusicpdf.com and R. Smith & Co as well as 10 BSW albums and also a number of broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. Keith has worked with numerous distinguished soloists including Alison Balsom (trumpet), Juliette Bausor (flute), David Childs (euphonium), Evelyn Glennie (percussion), Hannah Marcinowicz (saxophone), Gerald McChrystal (saxophone), Linda Merrick (clarinet), Craig Ogden (guitar) and Simone Rebello (percussion).
Keith Allen is a regular visitor to America conducting British repertoire and in 2006 presented a lecture at the CBDNA Conference at the NorthWestern University, Illinois and in 2011 had conducting engagements with Minnesota Intercollegiate Honors Band, University of Minnesota Duluth Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Twin Ports Wind Orchestra. In 2013 he was ‘conductor-in-residence’ at the University of St Thomas and also guest conductor of Grand Symphonic Winds in St Pauls/Minneapolis. Since 2014 he has headed a ncbf Best of British Music trade stand at the annual Midwest Clinic in Chicago.