Allen Carl Larson, Professor Emeritus at Webster University in St. Louis has been an orchestral and choral conductor for over sixty years. Having worked both in academic environments and professional performance venues, his credits include symphony orchestra concerts, choral ensemble performances, musical theatre, opera, chamber music and church choir work. His doctoral studies at Indiana University were under the mentorship of renowned German conductor/scholar Julius Herford. They included studies in theatre history under the acclaimed author Oscar Brockett. He has acted in summer stock performances and has directed plays for various theatre companies. Since his retirement in 2009 from Webster University, Larson has become an author. His first book, The Sisters Backstage, was published in late 2019. It is about the correspondence between Conrad Hilton the first and two Sisters of Loretto in pursuit of funding for the building of one of St. Louis’ more important arts venue, The Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts. He is currently writing a play about that same correspondence.
After completing undergraduate and masters degrees at Park College and Indiana University, Larson held numerous choral and orchestral conducting posts. While at I.U. his doctoral fellowship included conducting the Belles of Indiana Women’s Chorus; the Choral Union; and the Indiana University Chamber Singers. Among his many directorships are 12 years as choir director at Park University in Kansas City; founder/director of Nova Choralis in St. Joseph, Missouri; Associate conductor of the St. Joseph Symphony Orchestra; Music Director of the Northland Symphony, Kansas City, MO; 36 years as music director/ conductor of the Webster Symphony Orchestra; four years as director of The St. Louis Chamber Chorus; chorus master for the inaugural season of Opera Theatre of St. Louis; director of numerous musical theatre productions at Webster University; conductor of numerous Opera Studio productions at Webster; guest conductor of the SLSO for the Bi-Centennial celebration at the Arch grounds; nine years as choir director at First Unitarian Church of St. Louis; numerous clinics and symposiums; and Founder/Director of The Sheldon Chorale. Dr. Larson was the founding music director of The Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis and is now Conductor Laureate.
In the last 10 years, Larson has made over 50 custom occasional tables out of artistic wooden wine box tops. He has also been a long time HO model railroader and has appeared on the Living St. Louis program showcasing his musical conducting and train conducting!