“[The Judgment of Paris included]…beautiful arrangements of works by both composers as well as evocative new compositions riffing on themes in their life and music.”
“…love, war, history, art and beauty. I was entertained and moved as well as educated.”
Emily Hanlon, Ottawa Chamberfest
“[Bohemians in Brooklyn was]… Beautifully punctuated… and brought the songs to vivid life.” -
“… a fine early evening’s concert… made especially enjoyable by the finely crafted and moving introductions by the CBC’s Tom Allen. Beautifully placed, each heightened the emotional substance of the work it preceded.”
Robert Harris, Toronto Star, October, 2009, Toronto Symphony Orchestra Afterworks Concert
“Another great thing about Afterworks is CBC Radio host Tom Allen, who spent the first 15 minutes of the concert giving us some background on the composer and, with the help of the orchestra, acquainting us with the music’s main themes.
Not a moment too long, Allen’s relaxed tour must have helped hundreds of fresh faces in the audience feel less intimidated by the classical music experience. Brilliant.”
John Terauds, Toronto Star, December, 2008, Toronto Symphony Afterworks Concert
“Allen returns as festival host, offering welcoming and witty introductions from the stage…. Fundamentally, he’s a storyteller, finding truth and folly in subjects as diverse as Beethoven and beer league hockey… For an orchestra like the Detroit Symphony, which continues to search for ways to find new audiences, Allen’s skills have been as welcome as another Detroit Stanley Cup.”
Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press, June, 2008, Advance article for the 2nd 8 Days in June Festival
The great thing about Tom is that he presents the music in a very casual but also intellectual environment… The interaction he has with the audience is awesome. He encourages people to get into it and you don’t have to feel ashamed if you’re not familiar with the music. At the same time, those who know music will take something away, too.
Jeff Thompson, Detroit Symphony audience member, quoted in the Detroit Free Press, June 2008
Tom Allen was the narrator and, by implication, the devil. He read the words of the characters with a perfect combination of understatement and feeling. All in all it was as close to ideal a production that this listener has encountered.
Richard Todd, Ottawa Citizen, August, 2008, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival production of L’Histoire du Soldat
…genial CBC radio host Tom Allen delivered a smart introduction… painting a picture of Vienna in 1808 as a city drenched in the upheaval of the Napoleonic wars… My heart stopped as the DSO kicked the powder off the wig of [Beethoven’s] Fifth with the coiled energy and surprise that knocked the wind out of the Viennese 200 years ago.
Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press, June 2007, Opening of the first 8 Days in June Festival
Allen provided an interesting and often humorous narrative. [He] interestingly wove a thesis into the musical offerings… it proved to be an entertaining and educational touch which truly heightened the enjoyment of the concert experience.
Daniel Ariaratnam, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, June, 2005, Industry of Music series, Perimeter Institute