Allen W. Menton grew up in southern California. He began his undergraduate music career as a pianist, until a wrist injury prevented him from continuing.
Instead, he completed a Bachelor’s degree in English at Stanford University and went on to pursue a Master’s and Doctorate in Comparative Literature at Cornell University.
He taught English, foreign languages, and literature at several schools, including West Point and Charles University in Prague before returning to southern California to renew his studies in music.
He earned a second Bachelor’s degree in music composition from the California State University, Long Beach, a Master’s degree in composition from USC, and a Ph.D. in composition from UCLA.