20 Questions with Timothy McAllister

Timothy McAllister, saxophonist of mystery

Timothy McAllister, saxophone

If you haven’t heard, Timothy McAllister is one of the world’s best classical saxophone players. He’s so good, in fact, that he inspired one of America’s greatest living composers, John Adams, to write a Saxophone Concerto just for him. It just might be the greatest Saxophone Concerto ever—but don’t take our word for it. Timothy McAllister will perform this virtuoso showpiece for saxophone and orchestra with the Houston Symphony at our upcoming concert that also features Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. On top of that, Timothy McAllister is from Houston, which obviously means he’s super cool. As evidence, we offer his answers to the 20 questions below.

Calvin Dotsey: What’s one thing most people don’t realize about playing the saxophone?

Timothy McAllister: The saxophone is probably the easiest instrument to pick up immediately and make a sound on, but one of the hardest to play in-tune with a good sound.

CD: If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be?

When you think about it, it would make sense to visit Einstein after using a time machine.

When you think about it, it would make sense to visit Einstein after time traveling.

TM: Albert Einstein.

CD: What is your biggest dream?

TM: I’m lucky to say I’m currently living it.

CD: What is your spirit animal?

TM: Velociraptor.

CD: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

TM: Flying, of course.  Heat vision rocks, too.

CD: What is the last recording you listened to?

TM: Philip Glass’s Meetings from the Edge (Pacific Symphony, Carl St. Clair, conductor).

CD: What’s something that scares you?

TM: Velociraptors. Oh, and heights.

CD: Describe the music you are going to perform in three words.

TM: Muscular, sweeping, nostalgic.

CD: What gets on your nerves?

I suppose a velociraptor might fear other velociraptors.

I suppose a velociraptor might fear other velociraptors.

TM: Tardiness.

CD: What are you most proud of?

TM: My six-year old daughter, Roya.

CD: What is your favorite place in the world?

TM: Michigan Stadium on a fall Saturday in Ann Arbor.

CD: What is the last book you enjoyed reading?

TM: The biography on legendary oboist Marcel Tabuteau by Laila Storch.

CD: What is the last movie or TV show you enjoyed watching?

TM: The Lego Batman Movie! It was epic.

CD: Name one person who inspires you.

TM: Michelle Obama.

CD: If you had to have a job in a different field, what would it be?

TM: Geology. I love the study of formations and how tectonic movement shaped beautiful features throughout the world.

CD: What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

We are not that surprised.

We are not that surprised.

TM: Most people don’t realize I’m a massive Star Trek nerd. I think about Star Trek a lot. I mean a lot.

CD: If you were a musical key, what key would you be?

TM: Concert Pitch or transposed? Lol. I play an instrument pitched in either Bb or Eb. But if you must know, F# Major.

CD: What is the natural tempo marking of your life?

TM: Presto.

CD: What’s one quality you look for in all your friends?

TM: Openness.

CD: If you had to play another instrument, what instrument would you pick?

TM: Cello.

Don’t miss Timothy McAllister with the Houston Symphony February 23, 24 & 25, 2017! Get tickets and more info here.

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