Matt Sullivan

electro/acoustic oboe,  english horn
Director of Double Reed Studies, NYU, Steinhardt
MPAP- Music & Performing Arts Professionals


Ari Mintz photographer for The New York Times 

The painter Ken Cro-Ken, rear, and the oboist Matt Sullivan
presented their performance-art piece “Multiple Oneness.”
February 22, 2011

Matt Sullivan – Bio

MATT SULLIVAN has performed extensively on four continents and is recognized internationally as a virtuoso performer and master teacher, as well as an important advocate for the modern oboe. The New York Times has praised his "gorgeously lyrical playing" and the New Yorker has called his inventive programming the "cutting edge".  As composer, his innovative works created for oboe, English horn and digital horn, along with his solo and chamber music performances and compact discs, have been featured locally on WNYC. WQXR and WBAI, and nationally on National Public Radio and  Voice of America.  Matt Sullivan began his professional career at the age of 17 with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and served at principal oboist with the Miami Philharmonic at the at of 21.   Soon after coming to NYC in 1978, he joined Musicians Accord, the Richardson Chamber Players (Princeton University), Queens Symphony Orchestra, First Avenue, and Quintet of the Americas.  Sullivan’s solo performances include concerts ranging from Cindy Lauper at Carnegie Hall to films including Miller’s Crossing.  Concert venues include Carnegie Hall, The Library of Congress, the Palladium, Roulette, The Kitchen, CBGBs and numerous other uptown and downtown locations.  He has served on the faculties of Long Island University C. W. Post, the Manhattan School of Music Prep Division and Rutgers University.  Currently, Sullivan is a Symphony Space All Star, a member of Quintet of the Americas (33rd season) and is a member of the Faculty of both the Long Island Post Chamber Music Festival and the Chamber Music Northeast Composer’s Conference at Bennington College, Vermont.  Matt Sullivan serves as Director Double Reed Studies at NYU Steinhardt School’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions and he teaches at Princeton University where he has served as a Visiting Associate Professor. Matt Sullivan is a Performing Artist for Boosey & Hawkes Musical Instruments and plays exclusively on Buffet Oboes.

Matt Sullivan– Critical Acclaim

“Impressive Virtuosity”  
Kyle Gann – The Village Voice

“Sequenza VII (1969) for oboe, though heard less frequently is a more interesting piece that grows from a single, repeated tone (with varied attacks) into a virtuosic tour of the oboe’s range and coloristic palette.  Matt Sullivan, seemingly unfazed by its challenges, made it sound easier than it is.”      Allan Kozinn – The New York Times

“Mr. Sullivan’s colorful and often gorgeously lyrical oboe playing enlivened C. Bryan Rulon’s picturesque Dances on Broken Toes and Britten’s early Phantasy Quartet”  
Alan Kozinn - The New York Times

a New Yorker whose experimental repertoire and technique suggests the cutting edge can refer to something other than the knife with which oboists care their reeds. 
The New Yorker

“Matt Sullivan was a superb oboe soloist in Britten’s Phantasy Quartet, Mr. Corigliano’s Aria, and Laura Kaminsky’s Interpolations on Utopia Parkway.”          
Alex Ross – The New York Times

“That’s Matt Sullivan, the same featured oboist who played classical music with such poise and purity of tone.”  Becky Ball – The Oak  Ridger

“And Matt Sullivan played his composition Oh Boy!. In which the oboe arpeggio was so rapid and insistent that the illusion of several independent lines was created.” 
Allan Kozinn – The New York Times

“For his own composition (Oh Boy!), the world-class oboist went for an  ‘other worldly’ effects, employing on-the-fly digital recordings of two second sound bites—played back with pedal control.   His wizardry with the electronics was fascinating, I suppose, but what floored me was the timbres he got from the oboe itself, and the incredible flutter of notes he produced by ‘circular breathing,’….  The notes seemed to whirl in place with no hopes of rising and falling.  That Mr. Sullivan didn't’t fall from a lack of oxygen was simply amazing.”  Becky Ball – The Oak Ridger

“Sullivan’s featured melodies sparkled, and his tone stayed ripe even in the tip-top of its range.  In his hands the oboe is very obedient.”  Becky Ball – The Oak Ridger

"... the cutting edge." - The New Yorker  (1999)

"... gorgeously lyrical playing." - The New York Times (1994)