We had the good fortune of connecting with Isaac Allen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Isaac, why did you pursue a creative career?
Pursuing an artistic career was always sort of a foregone conclusion for me. I grew up in a family who valued the arts above all other disciplines and I was exposed to visual art, ballet, symphony, chamber music, opera, theatre and a number of other artistic disciplines at a very early age. I was very active in music and theatre from early on and both became my compass helping me to foster my own awareness of self and the world around me, and as an aside, helped me navigate through some troubling teenage years. I think pursuing it as a career evolved naturally. It was always a vocation to me, so at a certain age, I realized that to devote the time I needed to it, I would have to be able to make a living. The profession of it came as a necessity, so I figured it out, but I never started out thinking, “I need to make a living, how do I create art to do that”. I think that is a loosing battle and the work suffers. I strive to embody the meaning of the word amateur “for the love of it” in everything I do and then the money part just becomes a question of time, how can I support myself to spend all my time doing what I love.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a violinist and founding member of the Hausmann Quartet, which is currently the Fisch/Axelrod quartet in residence at San Diego State University as well as our own 501c3 arts organization. The quartet was started in the summer of 2004 by four friends and music school classmates. Early on our goal was simply to make music together and learn as much as we could. We eventually more clearly defined our mission and raison d’être and became a performing group not just dedicated to performing the string quartet repertoire, but dedicated to keeping the art form vital through a strong commitment to creative musical programs, educational and community engagement activities and collaborative partnerships with other arts organizations. It was never easy and early on we moved around a lot and made so many sacrifices, but we got to where we are today through a strong commitment to teamwork and collaboration, the idea that the sum is only as good as its parts. Because of this we have constantly devoted time and energy in the group to helping and supporting each other to be the best versions of ourselves that we can. We have built a mutual trust that allows us to be comfortable pushing the creative envelope from programming to projects that we take on, our group likes to take risks and I am proud of that! The most important lesson that I have learned along the way is, only do what you love, are passionate about and will look back and be proud about, the rest is just noise.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Of course, I am thinking pre- or post pandemic here, but my itinerary would be a good mix of outdoor, food arts and fun. Here are a few places on my list – Beaches in Coronado, La Jolla, Del Mar, any beach activity really. Walk the whole length of Ocean Beach Pier at sunset. I love the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park and just about all of the museums. I would take in a concert at La Jolla Music Society, Art of Elan, San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera, Neil Morgan Auditorium, Haydn Voyages Music at the Maritime (though I would be playing in that one :). I would check out a show at the Old Globe or a student music, dance or theatre production at SDSU. For good eats I am always in the mood for Fish Tacos and one of my favorite places is Mitch’s Seafood. Also love to eat south of the border! I am a huge fan of San Diego’s beer scene, so we might go check out some of the breweries in North Park and other San Diego neighborhoods. With kids, we would definitely go to Waterfront Park, the Zoo and Safari Park, the Children’s Museum, then maybe some ice cream in Little Italy? So much to do here, love this city!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Too many to name, but I will start with all of the great string quartets who came before us (my quartet, the Hausmann Quartet) as well as the countless composers in the canon of music history who have shared their deepest thoughts and feelings on paper for us to learn from, grow with and evolve with. All of the string quartets that we have been so lucky to have been mentored by, The Miami Quartet, The Alexander Quartet, The Emerson Quartet, The Alban Berg Quartet, Juilliard Quartet, St. Lawrence Quartet and members of the Cleveland Quartet and Guarneri Quartet, with a special shoutout to Arnold Steinhardt, who’s book, “Indivisible by four” was a real source of inspiration to me early on. Also, don’t want to forget my Mom and Grandmother who both supported my musical growth in impossible ways to measure.

Website: www.hausmannquartet.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hausmannquartet/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hausmannquartet?lang=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hausmannquartet/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/hausmann4/featured

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.