Chris Allen was born in Gorleston, Norfolk in 1954. He studied clarinet (and Bass Clarinet) at the Royal College of Music - with Colin Bradbury and Stephen Trier - and freelanced, mainly with touring opera and ballet companies before working as a woodwind teacher in Bedfordshire until his retirement to Suffolk in 2009.
He still plays in orchestral and chamber music activities when opportunities arise, but spends more and more of his retirement time as an amateur photographer. His other hobbies include walking, cooking, and astronomy. He lives in Saxmundham with his wife and Parson Russell Terrier 'Jack'.