Prism Saxophone QuartetBiography

BOOKING INQUIRIES FOR
Prism Saxophone Quartet
Prism Saxophone Quartet
Intriguing programs of great beauty and breadth have distinguished the PRISM Quartet as one of America’s foremost chamber ensembles. Two-time winners of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, PRISM has performed in Carnegie Hall on the Making Music Series, in Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and throughout Latin America under the auspices of the United States Information Agency. PRISM has also been presented to critical acclaim as soloists with the Detroit Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra, and conducted residencies at the nation’s leading conservatories, including the Curtis Institute of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory.
Champions of new music, PRISM has commissioned over 150 works, many by internationally celebrated composers, including Pulitzer Prize-winners William Bolcom, Jennifer Higdon, Zhou Long, and Bernard Rands; Guggenheim Fellows William Albright, Martin Bresnick, Chen Yi, Lee Hyla, and Steven Mackey; MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient Bright Sheng; and jazz masters Greg Osby and Tim Ries. In 1997, PRISM initiated its own concert series in Philadelphia and New York City, presenting the newest compositions created for their ensemble by composers from around the world. The series has featured an eclectic range of guest artists, including Ethel, the Talujon Percussion Quartet, Music From China, Miro Dance Theatre, Cantori New York, and top jazz artists, including guitarist Ben Monder, saxophonist Rick Margitza, and drummers Gerald Cleaver, Mark Ferber, and John Riley. PRISM has also joined forces with the New York Consort of Viols, Opera Colorado, and the Chilean rock band Inti-Illimani in touring engagements.

PRISM’s discography is extensive, documenting more than sixty works commissioned by the Quartet on Albany, innova, Koch, Naxos, New Dynamic, and New Focus. PRISM may also be heard on the soundtrack of the film Two Plus One, by Emmy nominee Eugene Martin, scored by Quartet member Matthew Levy, and has been featured in the theme music to the weekly PBS news magazine “NOW.”

PRISM performs exclusively on Selmer saxophones and mouthpieces.

Matt Levy (tenor saxophone), hailed by the Saxophone Journal as “a complete virtuoso of the tenor saxophone” and by the New York Times for his “energetic and enlivening” performances, is distinguished as both an interpreter and composer of contemporary music. He has been a frequent guest artist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and has performed throughout the Americas and Europe, including in Milan’s La Scala Opera House where he worked under Karlheinz Stockhausen in the critically acclaimed production and premiere of “Samstag aus Licht,” released on Deutsche Grammophon Records. A founding member of the PRISM Quartet, Matt has commissioned and collaborated with many notable composers, including Nicholas Thorne, Frank Ticheli, Robert Capanna, and Steve Mackey. He holds three degrees from the University of Michigan where he studied saxophone with Donald Sinta; composition with William Bolcom, William Albright, Fred Lerdahl; and was the first recipient of the Lawrence Teal Award. Comfortable in a wide range of musical settings, Matt has composed works for orchestra, choir, musical theater, dance, jazz and electronic music ensembles. His music has been described as “gorgeous and ethereal” by Classical Magazine and “pulsing and wittily colored” by the Philadelphia Inquirer and has been broadcasted on NPR’s “Performance Today” from Washington DC; WQRS’s “Around Town” from Detroit; WQXR’s “The Listening Room” from New York City; WFMT’s “Dame Myra Hess Series” from Chicago; CBC and “Voice of America.” He has also scored four motion pictures, including PBS’s “Diary of a City Priest” by Emmy nominee Eugene Martin, recently featured at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. Matt may be heard on Koch International, CRI, Innova, Deutsche Grammophon, Grammavision, and Tzadik. He serves as director of the Philadelphia Music Project.

Matt Levy (tenor saxophone), hailed by the Saxophone Journal as “a complete virtuoso of the tenor saxophone” and by the New York Times for his “energetic and enlivening” performances, is distinguished as both an interpreter and composer of contemporary music. He has been a frequent guest artist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and has performed throughout the Americas and Europe, including in Milan’s La Scala Opera House where he worked under Karlheinz Stockhausen in the critically acclaimed production and premiere of “Samstag aus Licht,” released on Deutsche Grammophon Records. A founding member of the PRISM Quartet, Matt has commissioned and collaborated with many notable composers, including Nicholas Thorne, Frank Ticheli, Robert Capanna, and Steve Mackey. He holds three degrees from the University of Michigan where he studied saxophone with Donald Sinta; composition with William Bolcom, William Albright, Fred Lerdahl; and was the first recipient of the Lawrence Teal Award. Comfortable in a wide range of musical settings, Matt has composed works for orchestra, choir, musical theater, dance, jazz and electronic music ensembles. His music has been described as “gorgeous and ethereal” by Classical Magazine and “pulsing and wittily colored” by the Philadelphia Inquirer and has been broadcasted on NPR’s “Performance Today” from Washington DC; WQRS’s “Around Town” from Detroit; WQXR’s “The Listening Room” from New York City; WFMT’s “Dame Myra Hess Series” from Chicago; CBC and “Voice of America.” He has also scored four motion pictures, including PBS’s “Diary of a City Priest” by Emmy nominee Eugene Martin, recently featured at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. Matt may be heard on Koch International, CRI, Innova, Deutsche Grammophon, Grammavision, and Tzadik. He serves as director of the Philadelphia Music Project.

 

Taimur Sullivan (baritone saxophone), made his solo debut in New York’s Merkin Hall under the auspices of Ensemble 21. Acclaimed by the New York Times for his “…seductive breadth of tone and considerable technical agility,” he has also been featured as a soloist at New York’s Lincoln Center, Montreal’s International Festival Lanaudiere, and Germany’s EarMarks Festival. An active proponent of contemporary music performance, Taimur has premiered over 40 works by both established and emerging composers. His lecture/performances have been heard at the Manhattan School of Music, Columbia University, New York University, and SUNY-Stonybrook, and he has also toured extensively throughout the former Soviet Union, performing concerts in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Donetsk and Sochi. At home in the jazz as well as the classical world, he has performed behind the Platters, the Drifters, Louis Bellson, Cecil Bridgewater, Bunky Green and Jimmy Heath. He has recorded for the Capstone, Mode, Innova, Mastersound and Zuma labels, and holds degrees from the University of Illinois and Michigan State University where he has studied with James Forger, Joseph Lulloff and Debra Richtmeyer. Sullivan lives in New York City, where he has performed with Ensemble 21, Ensemble Sospeso, and the Bang On A Can All-Stars, among others, is a director of the ThreeTwo Festival, and serves on the performance faculty of Columbia University.

 

Timothy McAllister (soprano saxophone) has been hailed by critics nationwide for his lyrical modern touch” (American Record Guide), “virtuoso artistry” (Saxophone Journal), and “beautifully rounded tone” (Ann Arbor News). He has appeared in important venues, on radio and in television broadcasts throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, including solo debuts in Carnegie Hall Isaac Stern Auditorium, Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and Rotterdam’s Zaal de Unie. He has performed with the Royal Belgian Air Force Band, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Hot Springs Festival Orchestra, the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings , Houston Civic and Symphony Orchestras, the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble and the New World Symphony among others. Co-founding member of the new music group, QUORUM, McAllister is responsible for over 60 premieres for saxophone. His critically-acclaimed recordings can be heard on the Centaur, Innova, Equilibrium, CRI, Naxos, Albany, Einstein, G.I.A. and AUR record labels. McAllister is professor of saxophone at the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York-Potsdam, and received degrees from the University of Michigan. A student of Donald Sinta, he was awarded the music school’s highest honors, including the Lawrence Teal Award, Earl V. Moore Award and the Albert A. Stanley Medal. In October 2002 he received the Paul C. Boylan Alumni Award from Michigan for his significant contributions to the field of music. Additionally, he has served as a guest professor at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris, and serves on the summer faculty of the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

 

Zachary Shemon (alto saxophone) has been recognized nationally (for his artistry) as both a soloist and chamber musician. He made his orchestral debut at the age of eighteen, performing Jacques Ibert’s Concertino da Camera with the Plymouth, MI symphony.

 

As a soloist, Zach has been extremely successful in competition, winning the Lansing Matinee Musicale Woodwind Artist Competition in 2005, the Hixon Saxophone/Clarinet Award in 2004, and being invited to compete in the Heida Hermann’s International Woodwind Competition in 2003. He was a two-time concerto competition finalist at the University of Michigan and has performed concertos by Michael Colgrass and William Bolcom with the UM Bands. He has also been a featured soloist on multiple occasions with the Plymouth, MI Symphony and the Ann Arbor Concert Band. In addition to his appearances as a soloist, Zach has performed with the Windsor, ON symphony and was featured with the University of Michigan Symphony Band at Carnegie Hall in 2005. As a chamber musician, he was prize winner in the 2005 Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition and performed William Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso with his former quartet, Twelve-Ten. About the performance of his piece, Bolcom wrote, “Twelve-Ten did a stellar job on the saxophone quartet solo part#SYMBOL \f “Symbol”188they inhabited the spirit of the piece with perfect comfort”. Zach currently maintains a private saxophone studio in the Ann Arbor, MI area. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan in both Saxophone Performance and Engineering. His primary teachers have been Donald Sinta and Jay Berckley.

 

 
TIMOTHY McALLISTER, soprano saxophone
TAIMUR SULLIVAN, baritone saxophone
MATTHEW LEVY, tenor saxophone
ZACHARY SHEMON, alto saxophone
Presenters and the press: Click the thumbnail below to view and download a copy of the image.
Prism Saxophone Quartet Prism Saxophone Quartet Prism Saxophone Quartet
Visit the PRISM Quartet’s website:
www.prismquartet.com