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Faculty & Staff Profiles

Robert Sullivan

Lecturer, Trumpet
Robert Sullivan


Robert Sullivan rejoins the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras as principal trumpet for the 2018-2019 season after a 5 year absence. His first tenure in the CSO was from 2008-2013. Robert served as Professor of Trumpet at Northwestern University from 2013-2018.

During his years at Northwestern, Robert was a regular performer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Previous to his first tenure in Cincinnati, Robert served as Associate Principal Trumpet in the New York Philharmonic for eleven seasons and the Cleveland Orchestra as Assistant Principal Trumpet for 5 years. Robert has been on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Charleston Southern University and the College of Charleston.

Robert began playing trumpet at age ten in the Norwood, Massachusetts public school system, and while in high school became associate principal trumpet in the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble. Later, while a student of Armando Ghitalla at the University of Michigan, where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree, he was featured soloist with many of the University ensembles. He was winner of the concerto competition at the National Music Camp, Interlochen, Associate First Trumpet with the All-American College Band of Disneyland, and winner of the Armando A. Ghitalla Fellowship to the Berkshire Music Center, Tanglewood. He was later a member and soloist with the U.S. Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., as well as an extra player in the National Symphony. After leaving the Air Force, Robert became solo trumpet in the Chicago Chamber Brass.

Robert is an active recitalist and clinician; he toured the U.S. for two seasons with the trumpet and organ duo “Toccatas and Flourishes,” and his recitals as part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston have been recorded and broadcast on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. Recent solo performances have included appearances with the Cincinnati Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic, and the Hilton Head Symphony under the baton of John Morris Russell.

As a member of the Principal Brass of the New York Philharmonic, Robert performed recitals throughout Europe, South America, and Asia, and collaborated on concerts with the Canadian Brass and the German Brass. He has also performed and recorded with the Summit Brass and Empire Brass, as well as dozens of Hollywood film scores.

In November 2000, Robert received a special citation from the Congress of the United States in recognition of community service. Two recordings featuring Robert and pianist James Rensink, “Treasures for Trumpet” and “Kaleidoscope,” are available on the Summit Records, and a new recording of solo trumpet and piano repertoire released in the spring of 2019.

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