Of all the Tom Allens, (and there are many) I’m the one who is the host of Shift on CBC Radio 2, loves music, loves stories and especially loves combining the two to bring concerts and broadcasts alive.
If that’s what you’re looking for, then come on in.
I’ve created this site to spread the word about what I do, mostly as a host and consultant for symphony orchestras, but also in smaller concerts, and as an author, a musician and broadcaster.
I know and understand music intimately. I have a Master’s degree in Music Performance from Yale and worked as a professional trombonist for many years. I’ve also had my own radio program on one or other of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s networks for 19 years. I love telling the stories of how and why a piece of music may have become the way it is, and, if I do say so, I’m very good at it. I also love combining stories and history in a way that allows an audience to understand and connect with music in a delightful and natural way.
Some orchestras and music festivals, hoping to reach new audiences, have hired me to host their concerts and festivals. You can see a list of who I’ve worked for in my Biography.
Other orchestras and festivals have hired me to put on complete shows that I’ve put together for them. You can read about those programs by going to Hosted Orchestra Programs or Music and Storytelling for the chamber music concerts.
If you’d like to see video excerpts of my orchestra hosting, I don’t have a lot, but there are four clips from a 2006 concert on the Audio/Video page.
Also on the Audio/Video page, you can hear excerpts from a much-loved radio feature about lesser-known composers, In the Shadow, which I’ve adapted for my Hosted Orchestra Programs.
If you want to see me performing, there’s a list of upcoming shows under Concert Dates.
I’ve also worked as a consultant for symphony orchestras, helping to design innovative, interactive and creative programming, and you can also read about that in my Biography.
If you want to know what some of the key people in those organizations have to say about my work, take a look at What People Say, and, for an outside opinion, see Press.
For information about my books, see Books.
Lastly, if you want to get in touch about these topics or anything else, go to Contact.
Thanks for stopping by!