Biography

Timothy McAllister Photo credit: rrjones

Soprano chair of the renowned PRISM Quartet and internationally-acclaimed soloist, TIMOTHY McALLISTER has been hailed as a “virtuoso…one of the foremost saxophonists of his generation” (The New York Times). Since his solo debut at age sixteen with the Houston Civic Symphony, his career has taken him throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, China, Mexico, France, Slovenia, Switzerland, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria, garnering prizes at many prestigious national and international competitions, with solo performances in such venues as the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, City Hall Concert Hall in Hong Kong, Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Sumida Triphony Hall in Tokyo, Dallas’ Meyerson Center, and Rotterdam’s Zaal de Unie.

McAllister’s critically acclaimed, internationally released recordings can be heard on the Stradivarius, Summit, OMM, Einstein, NAXOS, AUR, New Dynamic, Albany, Equilibrium, New Focus, Centaur, G.I.A. Publications, Parma, 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 multiple Grammy Award nominations in three major categories.

McAllister has premiered over 150 new works by today’s most eminent and emerging composers ranging from solo compositions by Gunther Schuller, Caleb Burhans, Jennifer Higdon, Benjamin Broening, Kati Agocs, Mischa Zupko, Gregory Wanamaker, Roshanne Etezady, Kristin Kuster to saxophone quartets and chamber works by William Bolcom, Martin Bresnick, Steven Mackey, Lee Hyla, Libby Larsen, Lei Liang, John Harbison, David Rakowski, Zhou Long, Chen Yi, Joel Puckett, Brian Fennelly, Evan Chambers, Ken Ueno, Donnacha Dennehy, David T. Little among many others.  In October 2009, he appeared as saxophonist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Maestro Gustavo Dudamel’s Inaugural Gala concert performing the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize and multiple Grammy winning composer John Adams’ major new work, City Noir (released on DVD by Deutsche Grammophon), and performed the work with the orchestra throughout its May 2010 U.S. Tour, with appearances in San Francisco, Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and New York City’s Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.  In March 2015, he reprises his City Noir role with the LAPhil and Dudamel with performances in Los Angeles and an Asian Tour, including concerts in Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo.

Mead’s melodies are angular and supple, and McAllister renders them with a lyrical modern touch. Steady Study on the Boogie…is a fascinating piece, and McAllister plays it beautifully. Steve Hicken American Record Guide - Review of Scena

In August 2013, he gave the World Premiere of John Adams’ Saxophone Concerto - described by The Sydney Morning Herald as “an astonishing performance” - with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the composer in the Sydney Opera House. Subsequent United States premieres and international performances throughout 2013 and 2014 will occur with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore and Sao Paulo State (Brazil) symphonies, along with a recording of the Concerto and City Noir for Nonesuch Records with David Robertson and the Saint Louis Symphony to be released in 2014. Future engagements with the Concerto also include the BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra.

He has performed in concert with celebrated pianists Christopher Taylor, Andrew Zolinsky, Andrew Campbell, Winston Choi, Tannis Gibson, Kevin Class, Gary Hammond, Midori Koga, Stephen Buck, and Kathryn Goodson, with whom he collaborates regularly.  His has recently performed as soloist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Elgin Symphony, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Reno Philharmonic, the Hot Springs Festival Orchestra, Texas Festival Orchestra at Round Top, Dallas Wind Symphony, United States Navy Band, Hong Kong Wind Philharmonia, Tokyo Wind Symphony, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble.  An in-demand orchestral musician, he has been invited to perform in the wind sections of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, National Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Houston Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, New World Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He was the featured soloist for the University of Michigan Symphony Band Centennial Anniversary Tour in 1997 and soprano chair of the Ninth Circle Saxophone Quartet, which was awarded the 2001 Grand Prize at the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition.

With the PRISM Quartet, he has appeared with the Pacific Symphony, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Opera Colorado/Colorado Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Ocean City Pops (NJ), Augusta Symphony, Cantori New York, The Crossing, Talujon Percussion Quartet, and the Nashville Symphony, in addition to numerous chamber music engagements and festivals nationwide, including the SONIC Festival and the Bang On A Can Marathon. He has been a featured soloist at the national/international conferences of SEAMUS, the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial meetings, the New England Saxophone Symposium, and the U.S Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium. Additionally, he appeared as soloist with the Royal Belgian Air Force Band at the XIII World Saxophone Congress. 

McAllister 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 greats 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. Upcoming activities in 2014 include crossover projects between PRISM and jazz saxophonists/composers Dave Liebman, Greg Osby, Steve Lehman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Miguel Zenon and Tim Ries.

McAllister serves as Associate Professor of Saxophone and Co-Director of the Institute for New Music at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.  His previous faculty positions include Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute School of Music, The University of Arizona School of Music, and SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.  He spends his summers as a distinguished Valade Fellow/Instructor of Saxophone 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 famed Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris. In 2013, he was a co-founding faculty member of the annual American Saxophone Academy held at the Eastman School of Music.

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, tenor Nicholas Phan 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 D’Addario
Woodwind Artist, assisting with research and design for the D’Addario Co, and endorses the RICO Reserve Classic saxophone reeds and Ishimori Ligatures.