Soprano saxophonist, PRISM Saxophone Quartet; Saxophone Professor, Herberger Institute School of Music, Arizona State University
Artist's BiographySoprano chair of the renowned PRISM Quartet and acclaimed soloist, Timothy McAllister has emerged as one of today’s premier concert saxophone performers and teachers. Since his solo debut at age sixteen with the Houston Civic Symphony, his career has taken him throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Switzerland, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria, garnering prizes at many prestigious national and international competitions, with solo performances in such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Boston’s Pickman Hall, the Krannert Center, Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Rotterdam’s Zaal de Unie.
McAllister’s critically acclaimed, internationally released recordings can be heard on the Einstein, Naxos, AUR, Albany, Equilibrium, Centaur, G.I.A. Publications, and Innova labels. Mark Stryker of the Detroit Free Press has recognized his albums as among the top classical saxophone recordings, and his recording of Pulitzer-Prize winning composer William Bolcom’s Concert Suite for Alto Saxophone and Band received first-round 2001 Grammy Award nominations in three major categories.
He has appeared with chamber groups such as QUORUM, the Minimum Security Composers Collective Ensemble, Duo 45th Parallel (with Lucia Unrau), Brave New Works, the Ariel Web (with dancer/choreographer Peter Sparling) and the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings. He has performed in concert with celebrated pianists Christopher Taylor, Andrew Zolinsky, Winston Choi, Tannis Gibson, Kevin Class, Midori Koga, Stephen Buck, and Kathryn Goodson, with whom he collaborates regularly. His performances with orchestra include the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Phoenix Symphony/Ballet Arizona, Ann Arbor Symphony, the Hot Springs Festival Orchestra, Texas Festival Orchestra at Round Top, Tucson Symphony, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Albany Symphony/Dogs of Desire Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of Northern New York, and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble. He was the featured soloist for the University of Michigan Symphony Band Centennial Anniversary Tour in 1997, and was invited by Michael Tilson Thomas to perform as saxophonist with the New World Symphony in 2000 resulting in over a dozen concerts, including rare North American performances of Giacinto Scelsi’s I presagi. As the soprano chair of the Ninth Circle Saxophone Quartet, he won the 2001 Grand Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.
With the PRISM Quartet, he has appeared with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Opera Colorado, Columbus Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Ocean City Pops (NJ), Augusta Symphony, and the Nashville Symphony, alongside numerous chamber music engagements nationwide. He has been a soloist at the national/international conferences of SEAMUS, the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial meetings, the Potsdam Single Reed Summit, the New England Saxophone Symposium, and the U.S Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium. Additionally, he was a featured soloist with the Royal Belgian Air Force Band at the XIII World Saxophone Congress.
As a jazz and commercial musician, he has performed with notable big bands, and in many regional music theater and studio orchestra touring productions, having appeared with numerous entertainers including Broadway icon Patti LuPone. He has also performed behind such jazz artists as saxophonists Jimmy Heath, Rick Margitza, Dave Liebman and trumpeteer Ed Sarath. Since joining PRISM, he has premiered several jazz compositions by composer/performers Greg Osby, Tim Ries, Matt Levy, Tim Berne, and has collaborated with guitarist/composer Ben Monder and drummer Anthony Pinciotti.
Highlights of McAllister’s most recent seasons includes solo and chamber music appearances in London, Toronto, Boston, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York City; as well as new recordings on the AUR, Summit and Naxos labels, and the critically-acclaimed premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Soprano Saxophone under the baton of Maestra Marin Alsop at the 2007 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, CA. Albany Records just released his world premiere recording of Daniel McCarthy’s “Towers of Power”: Chamber Symphony No. 4 for saxophones and winds with the University of Arizona Wind Ensemble, Gregg Hanson, conductor. During the summer of 2008, he performed concertos by Higdon and Etezady with the Texas Festival Orchestra at the Round Top Festival-Institute (TX), and recorded John Adams’ Nixon in China with Opera Colorado conducted by Marin Alsop for the NAXOS label. Other honors include being selected as a featured soloist for the Opening Gala concert of the 2008 NASA Biennial Conference with the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra, Donald Portnoy, conductor.
In the 2009-2010 Season, he will appear as saxophonist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Maestro Gustavo Dudamel's Inaugural Gala concert, performing the world premiere of John Adams' major new work, City Noir, and will perform with the orchestra during its 2010 U.S. Tour, with appearances in San Francisco, Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and New York City. He will also be featured soloist with the Dallas Wind Symphony and The United States Navy Band among other ensembles.
McAllister was named Associate Professor of Saxophone at the Herberger Institute School of Music at Arizona State University in Fall 2008. He previously served on the faculties of The University of Arizona School of Music, and SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, and spends his summers as artist/faculty for the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He has given clinics and recitals at many of the nation’s elite universities and conservatories, and has been a visiting instructor and sabbatical replacement for Donald Sinta at The University of Michigan. In 2003, he was invited by French virtuoso Claude Delangle to serve as a Guest Professor at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris, and also served as visting instructor for Jean-Pierre Baraglioli’s class at the Conservatoire de Montreuil (Paris).
He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and other degrees in music education, conducting and performance from The University of Michigan where he studied saxophone with Donald Sinta and conducting with H. Robert Reynolds. He is the only saxophonist to ever receive the School of Music’s most distinguished performance award--the Albert A. Stanley Medal. Alongside composer Derek Bermel, acclaimed countertenor David Daniels, and New York Metropolitan Opera coach Howard Watkins, McAllister has been honored with the Paul C. Boylan Award from the Michigan School of Music Alumni Society for his significant contributions to the field of music.
Timothy McAllister is a Conn-Selmer artist, and plays Selmer (Paris) saxophones exclusively. He is also a RICO Gold Artist, assisting with research and design for the D’Addario Co, and endorses the RICO Reserve saxophone reeds.