Ann Allen

Photo: Daria Kolacka


Ann Allen is a specialist player of early wood wind instruments and also works as an opera director and has created a new style of atmospherically presented concerts.

She studied at Manchester University, Royal Academy of Music and the Schola Cantorum playing Baroque Oboe and Shawms and now freelances with leading ensembles and orchestras throughout Europe including Academy for Ancient Music, Ad Fontes and L'arpa Festante. She recently appeared at the Coliseum in DR DEE the rock opera by Damon Albarn and is currently playing shawm at the GLOBE THEATRE.

She set up the medieval group MEDIVA while at the RAM which has gone on to reach the finals of several prestigious competition as well as recording three CDs. She also directs the baroque ensemble IL BACIO.

After her musical training her love of the stage inspired her to direct several operas in the UK and Switzerland and set up her own festival mixing early music with modern music and presenting it in new and unusual ways. This festival NOX ILLUMINATA has been running for seven years in Basel, Switzerland, as well as four years in St Pölten, Austria and three years as the concert series ILLUMINATIONEN at the Burghof Lörrach, Germany.


i fell in love with the power of music at an early age and was soon playing recorder and oboe in school ensembles and local orchestras. After studying musicology at Manchester University, baroque oboe and the recorder at the Royal Academy of Music (London), I moved to Switzerland to continue my studies on these instruments at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel). While I was there I delved even further back in time and ended up with a diploma in Medieval Studies specializing on the shawm.

Since finishing I have working as a freelance classical musician playing baroque oboe and shawm with leading ensembles in England and Europe.

thanks to my grandfather and great-grandmother I have acting in the blood and like to combine my musical background with an innate sense of staging. 

I began directing opera productions in Manchester when I put on Purcell's 'Timon of Athens' in my final year and have since worked on several productions in Switzerland including 'Cephale et Procris' in Les Museiques Festival, Basel,  ' Il Sacrifizio d'Isacco' at Muri Kloister and 'King Arthur' a co-production between Theater Basel and the Musik Akademie Basel. Under the patronage of the Ross Live Festival, UK,  I have staged several operas over the years including Purcell's 'Dido and Aeneas', Mozart's 'Bastien and Bastienne' and Lampe's 'Dragon of Wantley' which were all received with great acclaim.

teaching and workshops
i enjoy teaching and running workshops and like to combine patience with optimism to create a warm and open environment which is great for learning. Combining years of Alexander Technique lessons, with other body work and introducing movement and fun, everyone can find the true performer within them by striping away the worries and tension and tapping into the natural talent.