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Timothy Sullivan: Biography

Timothy Sullivan
1954 -
Region: Ontario

Timothy Sullivan

Timothy Sullivan is a composer of international repute who has created for virtually every artistic medium in which music is used. He has composed scores for opera, ballet, modern dance, East Indian dance, film and television for such companies as the Canadian Opera Company, the Elora Festival, The Center for Contemporary Opera (New York), The Dance Theater of Harlem, Ballet British Columbia, les ballets Jazz de Montréal, les Ballets de Monte Carlo, New Music Concerts, Arraymusic, Sinfonia Mississauga and les Amis, The National Film Board and CBC's The Nature of Things .

In the work of Timothy Sullivan, one hears haunting, lyrical melody striking harmony and complex rhythms tracing back to his many musical inspirations: Carnatic and Hindustani music, the music of Africa and Bali, experimental electronics, new jazz and minimalism, as well as his early influences: Ligeti, Lutoslawski and Berio, as well as Mozart, Debussy and Stravinsky.

Timothy Sullivan is a composer whose music reveals a restless and expressive creative spirit tempered by a rigorous compositional technique. He has consistently pursued his curiosity, and this has lead him to work in stylistic fields well in advance of popular trends. He began as a composer of experimental chamber music (Pro Tempore, Music from Nowhere) and moved, in the mid-eighties, to incorporate opera into his language (Tomorrow and Tomorrow, Dream Play and Florence: The Lady with the Lamp). The interest in opera continues to date (Joséphine, The Trial).

In 90's, Dr. Sullivan undertook a fruitful association with modern dance choreographers, William Douglas (Autograph, La Zone d'Or), Lee Eisler (Deep West) and Claudia Moore (On Earth) as well as ballet choreographers John Alleyne (The Archeology of Karl, Adrian (Angel on Earth), In the Course of Sleeping) and Dominique Dumais (entre-deux). His involvement with Indian choreographers began with Menaka Thakkar (Untitled) and has progressed through Chandralehka (Namaskar), and Lata Pada (Cosmos , Revealed by Fire) to Hari Krishnan (Black and White in Colour).

Timothy Sullivan believes passionately in the importance of the role of creativity for individuals and society. He taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music, acting as Head of the Composition Division from 1984-89. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Victoria and composer-in-residence with the Canadian Opera Company and The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He has lectured, given workshops and consulted widely with educators on integrated arts, multiple intelligences and emerging arts practices for artists and the general audience for such organisations as The Ontario Arts Education Institute, The Canadian Music Centre and Orchestras Canada. In 2001, he was invited to Australia to be keynote speaker at the Asia Pacific Orchestra's Conference by the Sydney Symphony. In 2003, Creativity and Music Education, which Dr. Sullivan co-edited with Lee Willingham, was published. His chapter, entitled Creativity in Action, discusses Sullivan's unique approach to teaching music through creative games.

Timothy Sullivan's latest CD on the classXdiscs label, Golden Fire, was released in 2001 to very positive reviews in the Canadian and UK press. Timothy Sullivan holds a Doctor of Music degree from the University of Toronto and is listed in The Grove Dictionary of Opera, The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, The Canadian Who's Who and The Canadian Who's Who of Music and Musicians.



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