Allison Leyton-Brown

Allison Leyton-Brown

composer and musician

Allison Leyton-Brown is an award-winning composer, pianist, and musical director based in New York City. Allison studied music composition and jazz improvisation at Montreal’s Concordia University. In 2001 she earned her masters in musical theater writing (composition) from NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. Allison went on to compose dozens of original music and sound scores for theater, dance, opera & film productions across the U.S. and Canada. Recent NYC theatrical productions include scores to off-Broadway play Bleached Blonde Betty and new musical Desire Management Inc. (her fifth musical written with librettist/playwright Sophia Chapadjiev). She is composer-in-residence for Duke faculty member Ellen Hemphill's avant-garde company Archipelago Theatre, for whom she has composed five scores including their recent critically-acclaimed multi-media production The Narrowing. Allison collaborated with internationally-renowned puppeteer Basil Twist on a live score for a Duke University production of Exit the King, directed by Hemphill, and has written three other acclaimed scores for Duke Theater Studies productions. Allison composes regularly for various television programs including 20/20, The Good Wife, Primetime, What Would You Do?, and most recently for the new PBS children’s show Peg+Cat. Film credits include dramatic short The Bicycle (NY Film Fest), documentaries Rainy Season (international screening) and Millions: A Lottery Story (nationwide screening), and dramatic feature Dog’s Life (Brooklyn/Telluride Film Fests). She works regularly as a musical director, band-leader and recording pianist. Allison teaches singers and pianists in her private studio and was on the faculty at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts for 9 years. She has lectured internationally on her own work and gives master classes on music composition in a dramatic context.

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Engagement Information

Allison Leyton-Brown has composed an original score specifically for the cast of undergraduates working on the Theater Studies mainstage production of Peter Nachtrieb's play Bob: a life in five acts, under the direction of faculty member Ellen Hemphill.  After the show was cast, members of the company sent samples of their vocal and instrument work to Leyton-Brown for her to decide how best to incorporate their talents in her compositions. Some of the show's music will be recorded by professional New York musicians, and some will be performed live with instruments played by the student actors on stage. All singing will be done by the cast members.  Leyton-Brown will be on campus to attend rehearsals, working for four nights with the cast and music director Louis Landry.  They will have the exciting opportunity to debut her music for Mr. Nachtrieb himself during his concurrent visit in February. Allison will be returning at the end of March to help the cast polish their work in the final rehearsals leading up to opening night on April 7.