Robert Sullivan

Professor of Music


Robert Sullivan serves as Principal Trumpet of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, and is Professor of Trumpet at the University of Michigan and faculty at the Brevard Music Festival. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Robert studied trumpet with Armando Ghitalla and was the recipient of the Earl V. Moore scholarship award.

This is Robert’s second appointment as principal trumpet in Cincinnati, one he will retire from in May 2023 to focus on his teaching at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance. He rejoined the orchestra in 2018 after serving five years as Professor of Trumpet at Northwestern University. While living in the Chicago area, Robert was a regular performer with the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago.

Since his return to Cincinnati, Mr. Sullivan has been featured as soloist with the orchestra on five occasions. He has performed newly commissioned works by Peter Boyer and Christopher Cerrone, as well as works by John Adams, John Williams and the concerto by Neruda. His playing has been hailed by the Cincinnati Post and Gazette as “polished and engaging….displaying superb control, technical artistry and silvery tone.”

Previous orchestral positions have included tenured appointments as associate principal trumpet with the New York Philharmonic and The Cleveland Orchestra and second trumpet with the Charleston (SC) Symphony. He has also been a member of the US Air Force Band, and a faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Mannes College of Music.

Robert is an active recitalist and clinician. Recent solo performances outside of Cincinnati include appearances with the Chicago Philharmonic and Hilton Head Symphony. He was a member of the Principal Brass of the New York Philharmonic, has collaborated with the Canadian Brass and German Brass, recorded and performed with Summit Brass and Empire Brass, and can be heard on the soundtracks of dozens of Hollywood film scores. Prior to joining the New York Philharmonic, Robert toured the US for three years as solo trumpet with the Chicago Chamber Brass and the trumpet and organ duo Toccatas and Flourishes. Mr. Sullivan’s first two recordings of repertoire for trumpet and piano are available on the Summit Records label, and his newest release, Eternal Spring, was recently released on Fanfare Cincinnati, the record label of the Cincinnati Symphony.

In 2000 Robert was awarded the “Special Citation from the Congress of the United States in recognition of community service”.

Mr. Sullivan is a Yamaha Performing Artist, and was the artist collaborator for the Yamaha New York Artist model trumpets.