Pianist Allegra Chapman is an omnivorous soloist, chamber musician, and curator with a wide-ranging repertoire of music from Bach to Ligeti and a passion for connecting audiences with historically overlooked and living composers. Her performances have been described as “fervid but impeccably controlled” by the San Francisco Chronicle and “brilliant” by the San Francisco Classical Voice. A graduate of The Juilliard School and Bard Conservatory of Music, she is currently a member of Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and Chordless duo with soprano Sara LeMesh. Allegra will be featured on a forthcoming album for Albany Records of works by composer Richard Aldag.
Allegra has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and China at venues including Alice Tully Hall, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, the Bard Music Festival, Valley of the Moon Music Festival, the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum, and Xi'an Concert Hall. A passionate chamber musician and new music advocate, she has collaborated with members of the Eusebius, Orion, and Telegraph String Quartets and worked with celebrated American composers including Joan Tower, Charles Wuorinen, and Melinda Wagner. From 2020-2023, Allegra was the pianist of the Delphi Trio with violinist Liana Bérubé and cellist Tanya Tomkins.
Recent performance highlights include Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Delphi Trio and the San Jose Chamber Orchestra; the world premiere of Grammy-nominated composer Clarice Assad’s new triple concerto, A Story of Mermaids, also with Delphi Trio and the San Jose Chamber Orchestra; and concerts at Festival Napa Valley, San Jose Chamber Music Society, and the National Arts Club in New York City. In 2020, her music video with Chordless, The Night in Silence, won the “Best Music Video” award at the 2020 Tokyo International Short Film Festival and screened at four other film festivals.
As a curator, Allegra was the founding co-artistic director and executive director of the critically acclaimed festival Bard Music West from 2017-2020, a San Francisco-based branch of the Bard Music Festival. Described as “stunning and moving” by the San Francisco Classical Voice and as “a brilliant San Francisco Festival” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Bard Music West’s festivals each explored the world of a composer from the past 100 years. In its four years, Bard West presented three festivals that dove deep into the music, life, and influences of composers Grazyna Bacewicz, Henry Cowell, and György Ligeti. It also presented an emerging composers concert series, working with composers Danny Clay and Gabriella Smith. In total, Bard West presented over 70 world-class artists from around the globe, commissioned three new multi-disciplinary works, and performed over 100 pieces of music, including many that had never been previously recorded.
Allegra received her Master of Music from The Juilliard School and graduated in the inaugural class of the Bard College Conservatory of Music with undergraduate degrees in History and Piano Performance. Allegra owes much to her many wonderful teachers who have included Jeremy Denk, Seymour Lipkin, Julian Martin, and Peter Serkin. She is currently on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Pre-College division. She makes her home in San Francisco with her equally omnivorous husband and rescue dog, and an ever-growing library of over 800 books.
Photo by Kevin Fryer, 2018
But the glorious main point of the evening was Eastman’s “Gay Guerrilla,” a 30-minute tour de force of technique and expressive intensity. In a fervid but impeccably controlled rendition by pianists Kate Campbell and Allegra Chapman, the composer’s ingenious bravado came to the fore.
–Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
“The level of musicianship all evening was extraordinary, and the playing of pianist Allegra Chapman…was particularly astonishing.”
–Michael Strickland, San Francisco Civic Center Blog
“Chapman play[ed] the concluding piano cadenza brilliantly.”
– Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice