|Timothy Allen and Christine Westhoff|
|Timothy Allen and Christine Westhoff offer programs featuring soprano arias and songs accompanied by organ and piano. Drawing from a broad range of repertoire that extends from oratorio and opera arias to sacred songs and cabaret-style material, the vocal/keyboard duo plans a program that suits the performance venue. Organ solos can be included in the duo program when appropriate, or Tim can alternatively conduct an instrumental ensemble to accompany Christine. The two performers are also available separately as a soprano soloist or organist/keyboard performer.
Timothy Allen was born in St. Albans, England, where he studied organ at St. Alban’s Cathedral with Stephen Darlington. He completed his Master’s degree in Music at Cambridge University in 1981. In 1986, Timothy was appointed Assistant Master of the Music at Chelmsford Cathedral in Essex, England, and, in 1991, he became Organist and Master of the Choristers at St. Columb’s Cathedral in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. He came to the United States in 2001, and was appointed Canon Precentor to Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Little Rock in 2006. An experienced organist, continuo player, and choral conductor, Timothy has given recitals throughout the British Isles and in the United States.
Exciting young lyric soprano Christine Westhoff makes an impact wherever she performs. Her warm full voice allied to her natural musicianship and platform presence entrances and moves those who hear her. She has sung to audiences in America, as well as in Great Britain and Ireland. Her CD Ora Pro Nobis is developing a worldwide following through its internet sales in America, Europe, the UK, and Australia. Christine is currently preparing her next recording project for completion later this year.
Christine is a native of St. Louis and studied singing with Christine Armisted at Washington University. She specializes in oratorio and song. Her repertoire is extensive, ranging from Renaissance madrigal to opera and Twentieth-Century art and theater music. She has sung with members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in oratorio performances. Along with her recording projects, Christine is also preparing for concerts in venues in St. Louis, Little Rock, California, and Canada, as well as for recitals in Great Britain in late 2013. Christine has a website at www.christinewesthoff.com which includes tracks from Ora pro Nobis.
Timothy Allen was born and brought up in St Albans, England. He attended St Albans School and continued his music studies at Cambridge University where he was the Organ Scholar at Gonville and Caius College. He studied with Nicolas Kynaston while obtaining a Masters degree.
In 1986 Tim was appointed as Assistant Organist at Chelmsford Cathedral in Essex where his accompaniment of the Cathedral Choir on broadcasts and recordings was highly acclaimed. In 1991 he moved to Northern Ireland as Organist at St Columb’s Cathedral in Londonderry.
As well as reviving the choir of men and boys at the Cathedral Tim co-founded the Two Cathedrals Festival with his colleague at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Derry, Donal Doherty. With its programs of international artists and its emphasis on breaking down religious barriers in the Province, the Festival became Northern Ireland’s premier music event, winning awards and attracting the personal support of Prime Minister, John Major. Tim also served as City Organist in Derry and was President of the Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters from 1998-2000.
In 2001 Tim flew across the Atlantic to take up residence in St Louis where he served in a large Episcopal Church for 5 years. It was there that he met Christine Westhoff, whom he married in 2004. In 2006 Tim was appointed Canon Precentor of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Little Rock where he founded and directed a Choir School program at the Cathedral School. In 2012 Tim moved across town to be Organist and Choirmaster at St Mark’s Episcopal Church where he directs a growing choral and instrumental program.
Tim is an experienced service player, recitalist, clinician, examiner, choral conductor and continuo player. He works regularly with the Arkansas Chamber Singers and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and is in regular demand as a clinician. His recital at St Thomas Fifth Avenue in 2007 was reviewed as “superb.” Recent recitals have been in Texas, Kentucky and Rome, Italy. He is a member of the Arts on Tour roster with the Arkansas Arts Council.
In 2011 Tim featured on the CD, Ora Pro Nobis which he recorded with Christine Westhoff.
Crescimbeni, one of the earliest musical writers, wrote: “The oratorio had its origin from San Filippo Neri, who, in his chapel, after sermons and other devotions, in order to allure young people to pious offices, and to detain them from earthly pleasures, had hymns, psalms, and such like prayers sung by one or more voices.”
The 2011 release of her first recording, Ora Pro Nobis, was, for many, an introduction to this “other-worldly” beauty of sacred music. The enormous popularity of this CD and the modern means of downloading music have brought the beauty of these sung prayers to listeners in places all over the globe, including Australia, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, Iceland and New Zealand. Christine is committed deeply to the introduction and reintroduction of these sacred texts to a world that has all but forgotten many of them. She is also becoming particularly known for her individually tailored and imaginative programming for liturgical themes and events.
Considered a prodigy by many of her early voice teachers, Christine began her vocal training at the age of 9 and, by the age of 11 was studying and training with various college professors. Since then, Christine has devoted herself to perfecting her art and to breathing new life into the sacred texts of bygone centuries.
Touring the world, Christine has sung in some of the most beautiful sacred spaces on earth, including St. Columb’s Cathedral in Londonderry, Ireland, St. George’s Church in Beckenham, South London, England, St. Peter’s Church in St Albans, England, the Cathedral of St. Peter in the Belleville, Illinois diocese, and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri. In 2007, Christine performed a series of acclaimed recitals in the United Kingdom and was featured on BBC radio.
She has performed as the principal Soprano soloist in performances of Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate in Northern Ireland, England, and the United States; Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore with members of the St Louis Symphony Orchestra as well as members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra; Faure’s Requiem with members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra; Faure’s Messe Basse; Malcolm Archer’s Requiem; Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb; Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir, Buxtehude’s Magnificat with musicians from the St Louis Symphony Orchestra; excerpts from Mozart’s C Minor Mass; Haydn’s Little Organ Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria in Northern Ireland, England, and the United States.
Following the birth of her daughter in 2009, Christine’s recent performances have largely been in the United States, including a Lenten recital based on the Stations of the Cross, a recital based on the Catholic Church’s Year of Faith, and a Lenten meditations recital. She was the guest artist at the Clinton Presidential Library for the 2011 commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Arkansas Arts Center’s Operatic Gala Night, and the 2012 lighting of the Christmas lights at the Arkansas Capitol Building. Her upcoming schedule includes performances in Texas, California, Washington DC Canada, St Louis (to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the city) and the United Kingdom.
Christine was invited to Rome in October of 2013 and gave a recital in the church of St Sylvestre de Quirinale. Her singing was enthusiastically received by cardinals, bishops and Romans alike. She is currently involved in an artistic collaboration with British composer Ash Madni and has two recording projects that are scheduled for release in 2014.
Her disc, Ora Pro Nobis is available for download on iTunes and through Amazon. Her website can be found at www.christinewesthoff.com Christine is also a member of the Arts on Tour roster with the Arkansas Arts Council.