October 9, 2020
Taimur Sullivan is Associate Professor of Saxophone at Northwestern University, and a member of the acclaimed PRISM Quartet. His performances have taken him from the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Knitting Factory, to engagements throughout Russia, China, Europe and Latin America. He has garnered critical praise as "outstanding...his melodies phrased as if this were an old and cherished classic, his virtuosity supreme" (Paul Griffiths, New York Times), a player of "dazzling proficiency" (American Record Guide), “Taimur Sullivan is a whiz…” (Gramophone), and "Mr. Sullivan delivered this...wide-ranging program with a seductive breadth of tone and considerable technical agility" (Alex Ross, The New York Times).
Mr. Sullivan has dedicated much of his career to commissioning new repertoire for the saxophone, and has given the premieres of over 300 works by composers including William Bolcom, George Lewis, Julia Wolfe, Alvin Lucier, Augusta Read Thomas, Tyshawn Sorey, Kate Soper, Gavin Bryars, Lee Hyla, Tania León, Olga Neuwirth, John Harbison, Chen Yi, Martin Bresnick, Jennifer Higdon, Donnacha Dennehy, Steve Mackey, and many others. He has also presented the American premieres by important international composers such as Gerard Grisey, Toshio Hosokawa, Philippe Hurel, Michael Finnissy, Giya Kancheli, and Jean-Claude Risset. In honor of his distinguished record of promoting and presenting new works for the saxophone, the New York-based arts-advocacy organization Meet the Composer named him one of eight "Soloist Champions" in the United States.
As a member of the PRISM Quartet for over 25 years, Mr. Sullivan has performed concertos with orchestras nationwide, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and has conducted residencies at the nation’s leading conservatories including the Curtis Institute of Music, Rice University, and Princeton University. His recent work with PRISM has crossed over into collaborations with noted jazz artists Ravi Coltrane, Chris Potter, Miguel Zenón, Joe Lovano, David Liebman and Rudresh Mahanthappa, with Sō Percussion and Partch Percussion Ensemble, and with traditional Chinese instrumentalists. His recent recording of Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century (ECM) with PRISM and The Crossing choir under the direction of Donald Nally was awarded the Grammy award.
During recent seasons, Mr. Sullivan performed John Adams’ Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of the composer, two concerti at the Festival of Palaces in St. Petersburg, Russia, concerts in China, Croatia, and Colombia, became a founding member of Chicago’s Grossman Ensemble, and presented concerts and master classes around the United States including at Yale University, Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan, the Hartt School, National Sawdust, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Brandeis University, Big Ears Festival, and Le Poisson Rouge.
Prior to arriving at Northwestern University, Mr. Sullivan served on the performance faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Columbia University. He appears on 50 commercial recordings, and performs exclusively on Selmer saxophones and Silverstein ligatures.
For more information, please visit www.taimursullivan.com.
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