Allen taught harp and served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) until her retirement earlier this year. She was a native of Santa Barbara, Calif., and had taught at CalArts, her alma mater, since 1983. A long-time champion of new and contemporary music and improvisation, Allen commissioned over 200 works during her career. She also made a number of recordings including her most recent, Postcard from Heaven, released earlier this year by New World Records.
She is survived by her mother, Dorothy W. Angwin, sister Wendy, brothers Bill, Tony, and Brooks, and a niece and nephew. A tribute concert is planned for 2 p.m. on Feb. 20, 2016 at Roy O. Disney Hall at CalArts. The concert will include a range of performances representing all aspects of Allen’s life—contemporary, improvisation, youth programs, jazz, and non-Western—as well as the inauguration of a CalArts harp scholarship in her name. •