Cellist Allison Drenkow is an impassioned performer described by the Boston Globe as having “streamed through the spectrum of human emotions”. From “lyric melancholy” to a “tremble and roar,” press have distinguished her playing for her dimension of tone. Allison currently holds the position of Assistant Principal Cellist with the Charlotte Symphony.
Originally from Colorado, Allison moved to Charlotte from her home state where she was a section cellist of the Colorado Symphony for over four seasons. While out West, Allison performed with the Colorado Music Festival, Britt Music Festival in Oregon, Torrey Chamber Music Festival in Utah, and is a returning member of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Prior to her appointment in Colorado, Allison was based in Boston, performing along the East Coast with the Cape Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Hartford Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, and New World Symphony.
From the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany to Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Japan as well as Carnegie Hall in NYC, Allison’s career has been enriched with international performance engagements. Across countries and genres, she cherishes the versatility of music-making, sharing the stage with soloists from Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Axe, and Renée Fleming, to bluegrass-rooted artists, Béla Fleck and Chris Thile, to mainstream icons, OneRepublic, Brandi Carlile, and Kristin Chenoweth. Allison has held principal positions with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival in Japan, and National Festival Orchestra (USA). She has also performed at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, Banff Centre in Canada, and has studied intensively at the Heifetz International Music Festival and Académie du Domaine Forget in Québec.
An enthusiast of contemporary music, Allison is the former cellist of the Boston-based ensembles, Semiosis Quartet and Hub New Music Ensemble. With the Semiosis Quartet, she was a Featured Artist at the National New Music Gathering, and a Featured Guest Artist in the inaugural season of Tanglewood’s Linde Center Recital Hall. Collaborating with and showcasing music of living composers, Allison has worked alongside Caroline Shaw, Kati Agócs, Robert Honstein, Mason Bates, John Adams, and John Williams.
With various chamber ensembles, Allison has been mentored by the Juilliard, Emerson, Takacs, Borromeo, Jupiter, and St. Lawrence string quartets. She has performed chamber music in concert with Roberto Diaz at Tanglewood's Seiji Ozawa Hall, and appeared as a Guest Soloist in the “Boston Bach Birthday” and “Music For Food” concert series. Beyond performing, Allison has served in various roles with the NPR program, From the Top. She has also enjoyed teaching for the Peabody Preparatory & Boston String Academy, and maintains a small private studio of students ages 3-80.
Allison holds degrees from New England Conservatory and Peabody Conservatory as a student of Natasha Brofsky and Alan Stepansky.