Zachary Allen 18, hails from Skokie, Illinois and is a recent graduate of Niles West High School. He is a Merit Scholar at the Music Institute of Chicago where he has studied with Erica Anderson for five years. Zachary is also a fellow of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, a mentorship and scholarship program for underrepresented pre-college classical musicians. He has been a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Orchestra for four years and has served as co-principal oboe for three years. He is also a member of CYSO’s CORE Chamber Orchestra. In 2023 Zachary was selected by Maestro Tinkham as the Music Director’s Student Conducting Fellow and made his conducting debut at Chicago’s Symphony Center.
In 2022 he was named a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award recipient and was featured on Show 416 on NPR’s From the Top, where he gave the American radio premiere of Althea Talbot-Howard’s The Door of Return. In June, Zachary will be featured in a solo recital for 98.7 WFMT’s Introductions program where he has been previously featured as principal oboist of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Jubilee Wind Quintet.
Zachary has received awards the DePaul Concerto Competition (2023, 2021), the Odin International Music Competition (2021), the Walgreens National Concerto Competition (2020), the Music and Stars Awards (2020), the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition (2020), the Great Composers Competition Series (2020), the American Fine Arts Festival (2020), which afforded him the opportunity to make his Carnegie Hall debut performing in the winners recital. Most recently he made his solo orchestral debut as a finalist in the 2023 International Young Artist Concerto Competition.
Zachary has attended Interlochen Arts Camp for several summers, most recently as a member of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2021. He was also invited to join the Boston University Tanglewood Institute’s Young Artist Orchestra (2022) and the National Youth Orchestra’s NYO2 program (2022). He has participated in masterclasses and guest coaching with Elaine Douvas, Eugene Izotov, Alex Klein, Riccardo Muti, Katherine Needleman, Frank Rosenwein, Toyin Spellman-Diaz, Titus Underwood, William Welter, and Dominick Wollenweber. He has participated in additional coaching from the Curtis Mentor Network.
Zachary volunteers with several arts related nonprofit organizations. He gives private online oboe instruction to school aged children through the Do Re Mi Project, serves on the Teen Advisory Council for Urban Gateways’ Teen Arts Pass Program, and performs private online ZOOM concerts for seniors through the Music Institute of Chicago’s Music Pen Pal program.
During the summer of 2020, Zachary participated in a program run by Project 440, completing a six-week youth leadership course for musicians. He went on to serve on the Teen Advisory Committee for the Chicago 2020 Virtual Teen Arts Leadership Summit. In his free time, He enjoys cycling, volleyball, and traveling.
This fall, Zachary will be attending Oberlin College & Conservatory to study oboe performance with Robert Walters.