Allegra Askew grew up in Houston, Texas, where she studied viola with Wayne Crouse, Principal Violist of the Houston Symphony. She won the Houston Symphony Young Artist Competition and made her solo debut with the Houston Symphony at the age of sixteen. Allegra continued her formal musical training at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studied with Max Aronoff and Joseph de Pasquale. She was named Teaching Assistant to Mr. Aronoff during her postgraduate studies at Curtis.
As a chamber musician, Allegra has performed with Yo-Yo Ma and the Muir Quartet. She has worked under many conductors of renown, including Giulini, Claudio Abbado, Muti, Levine, Maazel, and Ormandy. In Philadelphia, she was a frequent substitute with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and served as Principal Viola for the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Opera Company of Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Philly Pops. Allegra played with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City and served as Principal for the American Symphony Orchestra. She also was Principal Viola for the Sarasota Opera in Florida.
Currently, Allegra is a member of the New Mexico Philharmonic and Santa Fe Pro Musica, as well as serving as the Viola and Chamber Music Instructor at New Mexico School for the Arts. In 2014 Allegra served her thirty-third season as Assistant Principal/Principal Viola of The Santa Fe Opera.