Dr. Mark Sullivan

Dr. Mark Sullivan holds his Master of Music degree in piano performance from Indiana University's Jacob School of Music. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where the Executive Committee honored him as the school's Outstanding Graduate for 1995. For his achievements in performance at U.S.C., he received the 1995 Keyboard Studies Department Award. Sullivan was also recognized with the 1994 Pi Kappa Lambda Award for graduating with the highest academic standing in his class.

Menahem Pressler is his principal teacher. His other teachers include William Dorn, Stephen Kovacevich, John Perry and Stewart Gordon. He also worked for two years with Rosalyn Tureck in the area of Bach interpretation.

As a young pianist, Mark Sullivan earned prizes in the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition's New York Debut, Academy of London, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Schumann competitions. In 1982, he received second prize at the National Finals of the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Artist Auditions. He also received first place in the Virginia Beach Symphony National Concerto Competition and won concerto competitions at both I.U. (Rachmaninoff Second) and U.S.C. (Mozart, K. 503.)

After receiving his D.M.A., Dr. Sullivan served on the piano faculty of U.S.C.'s Thornton School. After a few years, however, he declined an offer to continue teaching there in order to devote himself exclusively to the development of Sullivan Music Studio in Long Beach. At the invitation of Menahem Pressler, he has conducted master classes and lessons for Mr. Pressler's students at Indiana University. Dr. Sullivan served on the jury of the inaugural Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition held in New York City in June 2008. In 2002 and again in 2007, the Piano Teachers' Music Guild in Tokyo brought him to Japan where he conducted master classes and lecture presentations, and evaluated more than 250 students each year. Dr. Sullivan has authored numerous reviews and articles for Clavier Companion, American Music Teacher and Piano and Keyboard, where he served as a contributing editor from 1995 until 2000. He has served on the faculty of the Adamant Music School in Vermont.

Dr. Sullivan's students have received top honors in many festivals and competitions including the MTAC Young Artists Guild and State Concerto Competition as well as in the Southwestern Youth Music Festival and Southern California Junior Bach Festival. Two of his students received awards of $50,000 and $10,000 from The Davidson Institute for Talent Development. His students have appeared as piano soloists with many orchestras including the California Symphony, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the Reno Symphony Orchestra, the Orange County Youth Symphony, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, the Pro Art Symphony and the Long Beach Bach Festival Orchestra, and have performed in high-profile venues such as The Late Show with David Letterman and the 2002 Grammy Awards Salute to Classical Music honoring Van Cliburn. Former students have gone on to study music at some of the nation's premier institutions including The Curtis Institute, Indiana University's Jacob School of Music, New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music and the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music.

Dr. Sullivan was nominated by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts for the NFAA Distinguished Teacher in the Arts award. He continues to perform as recitalist and soloist with orchestras, and served 12 years as General Chairman of the Southern California Junior Bach Festival.


Dr. Sullivan was chosen by Piano & Keyboard magazine to write a cover-story interview with his teacher, the legendary pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio, Menahem Pressler. Mr. Pressler, when asked to autograph a copy of the magazine, wrote the following: To Mark,
Brilliant pianist, fine musician, and devoted teacher
with many thanks for an excellent article and best wishes for the future
with affection
Menahem Pressler

Mr. Pressler also praised Dr. Sullivan at the conclusion of a master class he gave at the Sullivan Music Studio. An amateur video from the back of the room captured this testimonial. Despite the poor video and audio quality, it's worth viewing. (890 KB)


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