Taimur Sullivan

“The contemporary music scene in Chicago now rivals any city's, and Ear Taxi Festival has managed to pull together this wealth of creativity, talent, and dedication under the umbrella of one incredible festival.”

Saxophonist Taimur Sullivan enjoys a prolific career as a soloist, chamber musician, and 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 in Moscow, London, Germany, and throughout Latin America, and have garnered him critical praise as "outstanding…his melodies phrased as if this were an old and cherished classic, his virtuosity supreme" (New York Times) and as a player of "dazzling proficiency" (American Record Guide). Since 1994 he has been the principal saxophonist for numerous ensembles in New York City, and has performed with ensembles including Ensemble 21, Ensemble Sospeso, Speculum Musicae, Mark Morris Dance Company, Bang On a Can All-Stars, Glass Farm Ensemble, Fireworks Ensemble, Riverside Symphony, Absolute Ensemble, Concordia Orchestra, and Composers Concordance, among others. As a recording artist he has recorded for the Mode, New World, Albany, Capstone, Innova, Mastersound, Bonk and Zuma record labels. Mr. Sullivan is the Artist/Professor of Saxophone at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and is also serves on the faculty of the Contemporary Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music.

Mr. Sullivan has performed concertos with orchestras nationwide including the Cleveland, Detroit, and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, as a member of the PRISM Quartet, with whom he regularly present recitals, master classes and workshops throughout the United States and abroad. Most recently, the Quartet gave the world premiere of Steven Mackey’s concerto Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, with the Nashville Symphony, and were also presented in concert by Carnegie Hall. Highlights of past seasons include a five-week tour of Latin America where he performed in Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador and Guatemala, and performed in concert with the famed Chilean band Inti-Illimani.

Mr. Sullivan has dedicated much of his career to promoting new repertoire for the saxophone. He has given the premieres of over one-hundred solo and chamber works by both established and emerging composers, including William Bolcom, Libby Larsen, Greg Osby, Gunther Schuller, Jeff Nichols, Tim Berne, Alvin Lucier, John Harbison, Olga Neuwirth, Keith Moore, Louis Karchin, Elizabeth Hoffman, Larry Polansky, Jason Eckardt, Eve Beglarian, and James Fulkerson, and the American premieres of solo compositions by important European figures such as Gerard Grisey, Toshio Hosokawa, Philippe Hurel, Michael Finnissy, and Jean-Claude Risset. In 2007, Sullivan was named one of eight "soloist champions" by Meet the Composer, in honor of his distinguished record of promoting and presenting new works for the saxophone.

As a soloist, Mr. Sullivan has been a featured artist at music festivals internationally, with solo appearances at New York’s Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival and Sonic Boom Festival, Montreal’s Festival Lanaudiere, Germany’s MusicParadise Festival and EarMarks Festival, and at King’s College in London. He was presented in his Carnegie Hall Debut as a soloist with the National Wind Ensemble, under the direction of H. Robert Reynolds. Of his solo performances, he has been described as "...not only dedicated and skilled, but also talented, fearless and sensitive… The sounds he made, from sotto voce murmur to joltingly accented warning, were fully and deliciously drawn" (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) and, of his New York debut recital, as "...commanding...Mr. Sullivan delivered this...wide-ranging program with a seductive breadth of tone and considerable technical agility" (New York Times).


As a jazz saxophonist, Mr. Sullivan has toured extensively throughout the Soviet Union, and has also performed with the Platters, the Drifters, Louis Bellison, Cecil Bridgewater, Tim Ries, Rick Margitza, Ben Monder, Bunky Green and Jimmy Heath.

Taimur Sullivan is a Conn-Selmer Artist and performs exclusively on Selmer Saxophones.