Timothy Sullivan

Sullivan, Timothy (Richard). Composer, teacher, b Ottawa 16 Dec 1954; B MUS (Toronto) 1979, M MUS (Toronto) 1980. He began piano lessons at 15 and moved to Toronto to study composition with Samuel Dolin in 1974. At the University of Toronto he studied with Walter Buczynski and John Beckwith.

Sullivan, Timothy

Sullivan, Timothy (Richard). Composer, teacher, b Ottawa 16 Dec 1954; B MUS (Toronto) 1979, M MUS (Toronto) 1980. He began piano lessons at 15 and moved to Toronto to study composition with Samuel Dolin in 1974. At the University of Toronto he studied with Walter Buczynski and John Beckwith. He taught at the RCMT 1979-89, was director of its composition program 1985-9, and founded its Contemporary Music Ensemble in 1986. He taught composition and theory at the University of Victoria 1989-90. In his early works Sullivan drew on an eclectic variety of styles from jazz to chance music, and from traditional harmony to serialism, before arriving at his own compositional idiom, which incorporates various elements from these disparate sources. His works explore various media; several have been commissioned, including Lentos Crepúsculos (1979, four songs for baritone and piano) for Donald Bell, Frieze (1982, for chamber ensemble) for the Stratford Festival Ensemble, and Music From Nowhere (1984, for chamber ensemble and tape) for ARRAYMUSIC. Scherzo Brilliante (1978) and Trillo (1981) for solo accordion were recorded by John Torcello (1982, JTC 001). Sullivan first came to widespread attention with the successful productions of his operas Tomorrow and Tomorrow (1986, premiered New York, 28 Mar 1987), and Dream Play (1988, premiered Toronto 11 May 1988), both to his own texts. Tomorrow and Tomorrow, a monodrama for soprano, chamber ensemble, and tape, was also broadcast on CBC TV 19 Feb 1989 in a performance by Iraina Neufeld. Dream Play, based on August Strindberg's play of the same name, was created during Sullivan's season (1987-8) as composer-in-residence with the COC. His opera Florence (text by Anne McPherson) was given a workshop production in 1991 in preparation for the planned premiere at the 1992 Elora Festival. Sullivan is a member of the CLComp and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.

Writings

'Composers: "orchestras as museums",' Mcan, 50, Oct 1983


Further Reading

  • Tammearu, Peeter. 'Technical expertise acquired, now Sullivan's style emerging,' MSc, 317, Jan-Feb 1981

    'The loneliness of love,' Maclean's 13 Apr 1987

    PRO Canada Ltd. 'Timothy Sullivan,' pamphlet, 1987

    Somers, Harry. 'Timothy Sullivan,' MSc, 359, Jan/Feb 1988

    Kentridge, Catherine. 'Three operas in the making,' Canadian Opera Company Magazine, Apr 1988