Columbus Symphony Orchestra Musicians

Brett Allen

Assistant Principal Viola

Brett L. Allen is Assistant Principal Viola of the Columbus Symphony, a post he has held since 1991. Allen is originally from New Jersey, and some of his ancestors are among the earliest European settlers of the region. Allen began studying violin at age 8. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Boston University and an Artist’s Diploma in Viola from the Cleveland Institute of Music. 

As a former member of the USAF Strolling Strings of Washington, D.C., Allen entertained at the White House, State Department, and Chief of Staff residences. During that time, he toured the nations of Europe and the Western Pacific and participated in recording projects for the Department of Defense.

Prior to arriving in Columbus, Allen was Principal Viola of the Hamilton Philharmonic in Ontario, Canada and Assistant Principal Viola of the Sacramento Symphony. He has subbed and recorded with the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa and subbed and toured with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Allen is a published composer and arranger. His works are available at Oxford University Press, Berben, Watchfire Music, and Allen is a licensed foster parent for the state of Ohio.