Kathleen Allan is the Artistic and Executive Director of the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto and a member of the music faculty at the University of Toronto. In high demand as a guest conductor, commissioned composer, and clinician, she is equally comfortable working in early, contemporary, and symphonic repertoire.
Since the beginning of her tenure with the Amadeus Choir in 2019, the Choir has commissioned over a dozen new works, founded the Choral Creation Lab for emerging composers and poets, and formed new partnerships with diverse artists and ensembles throughout the GTA and beyond.
As a passionate educator, she has served as Visiting Professor of Conducting at Western University (2019-2021) and now teaches conducting to undergraduate and graduate students and leads the Soprano Alto Chorus at the University of Toronto. She holds a degree in composition from the University of British Columbia and a master’s degree in conducting from Yale University.
From 2016-2023, she served as the Artistic Director of Canzona, Winnipeg’s professional Baroque choir, with whom she conducted many of the masterworks of the Baroque era. A devoted interpreter of early music and steeped in the practice of historically-informed performance, she is passionate about finding relevant contemporary context for the works of the past and sharing their universal power with broad audiences. Recent guest conducting engagements include the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and Early Music Vancouver. In 2015, Ms. Allan made her Asian debut conducting Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in Japan, and in 2016, she was the recipient of the Sir Ernest MacMillan Prize in Choral Conducting.
Her compositions have been commissioned, performed and recorded by ensembles throughout the Americas and Europe and have been featured at two World Symposiums on Choral Music. Her music is published by Boosey and Hawkes, Oxford University Press, and Cypress Choral Music, and she is a MusicSpoke composer. Inspired by her Celtic roots and musical upbringing in Newfoundland and Labrador, her compositions often fuse contemporary rhythms and harmonies with undertones of ancient folk music. Also an accomplished soprano, she has appeared as a soloist with the National Broadcast Orchestra, Berkshire Choral Festival, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. In addition to freelancing regularly in Canada and the US, she has performed as a member of the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the Arnold Schoenberg Chor (Vienna), Skylark Vocal Ensemble (Atlanta), Clarion Choir (New York), and the Yale Schola Cantorum (New Haven).