Allison Johnson has degrees in music from Stanford University (BA), CalArts (MFA), UC San Diego (PhD) and a post-doctoral fellowship in Asian Studies/Music (Occidental College). She also studied Javanese gamelan in Yogyakarta with Suhardi.
Her works have been performed in Europe, Asia, and the US at Montalvo Arts, China-ASEAN Music Festival in Nanning, and Agosto Foundation in Prague, among others, multi-media works have been performed at the New West Electro-Acoustic Music Festival, New Directions in Asian-American Music Festival, California Biennial, Feminist Theory & Music, Pasadena ArtNight, World Electro Acoustic Listening Room, La Jolla Athenaeum, and Frau Musica (nova) Festival in Cologne, among others.
She has received commissions, grants, awards, and residencies from Centrum Arts, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Center for Cultural Innovation, International Institute for Asian Studies, American Composers Forum, American Music Center, Luce Foundation, Durfee Foundation, Irvine Foundation, City of Pasadena, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, and the Getty Foundation, among others.
She has published, presented, and served on panels on various topics on music, theater, race, and culture, and has been a guest lecturer at National Taiwan University, Freie Universität Berlin, Simon Fraser University, USC, UC Irvine, and Mills College.
She is a four-time semi-finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Music Theater Conference and one of her collaborative works received a Critical Issues Grant from the Humanities for the Public Good. Her film music (called a "raunchy jazz score" by Film Comment) was featured on Kino Lorber’s 2020 re-release of films by pioneer director Alice Guy-Blaché, and was honored at Columbia University in June 2021 at the Women & the Silent Screen conference.