Allison Leyton-Brown is an award-winning composer, pianist, and Musical Director based in New York City. Born in Toronto, Canada, Allison began her musical career at a very young age as a classical pianist, studying under Rose-Marie Blanc, who remained her teacher for 17 years. Allison also began composing early and won her first of several composition awards at age 9 for a choral work performed by Toronto’s Amadeus Choir. She garnered many awards for her piano playing, and went on to perform as a soloist with the York Symphony at just 13 years old.
Allison studied Music Composition and Jazz Improvisation at Montreal’s Concordia University, where she branched out from her classical roots and began performing with various jazz, pop & rock groups. At nights she played in piano bars where she honed her solo performance style and built up a repertoire of hundreds of popular songs. In 2001 she moved to New York City on a scholarship to earn a 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. Most recently, Allison was commissioned to write music and lyrics for the Pete the Cat: The Musical, based on the popular children’s books, for the Omaha Rose Theater. 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). Allison is composer-in-residence for 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-renown puppeteer Basil Twist on a live score for a Duke University production of Exit the King and has written three other acclaimed scores for Duke, including their 2016 production, BOB: A Life in Five Acts.
Allison composes regularly for various TV programs including PBS Kids’ Peg+Cat, The Good Wife, Dateline NBC, 20/20, and Primetime, What Would You Do?. Film credits include dramatic shorts It Had Wings (DCIFF, MSPIFF, Durango Official Selections), The Bicycle (Cannes, NY Film Fest), documentaries Rainy Season (PBS), Millions: A Lottery Story (nationwide screening), and dramatic feature Dog’s Life (Telluride Film Fest).
Allison works regularly as a Musical Director, arranger, band-leader and recording pianist. Most recently, she musically directed and arranged music for Transcendence Theater’s Rhythm of Life, and Fogg Theater’s Bottle Shock: The Musical in California. Other of her numerous M.D. credits include Tennessee Williams: Words and Music – a touring production and CD featuring Alison Fraser, Cedar City Falls – an 8-week theatrical serial written by Liz Tucillo (He’s Just Not that Into You), and the concert of comedian Lewis Black and Rusty Magee’s The Czar of Rock & Roll. (She appears on Lewis Black’s DVD “Stark Raving Black”.)
Allison taught Music Performance and Composition at NYU Tisch School of the Arts for nine years and now has her own private studio. She has lectured internationally on her own work and given master classes on Musical Theater and Music Composition in a dramatic context.
Allison can be seen performing with various groups across New York City and the country, at venues from the divey to the posh. She can currently be seen fronting the New Orleans Jazz band Smith & 9th Ward and appearing with the Outer Borough Brass Band.