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David Sullivan, Associate Principal Horn

David Sullivan was appointed associate principal horn of the Kansas City Symphony in June 2009. A native of Kentucky, he received his bachelor’s degree in horn performance from the University of Kentucky and his master’s degree in orchestral performance from the Manhattan School of Music, earning both with summa cum laude distinction. He has performed as soloist with the Kansas City Symphony and the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, the latter of which he is also co-principal horn. In the summer, he performs orchestral and chamber music as co-principal horn of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra in Verbier, Switzerland. His major teachers include Erik Ralske and David G. Elliott.

Ten questions about me:

What songs/albums are in your iPod/MP3 Player/CD Player right now?

Bach's Magnificat, performed by Philippe Herreweghe and La Chapelle Royale.

Who is your most inspiring composer?

Gustav Mahler

What is the best part about being a musician in the Kansas City Symphony?

Working with such great colleagues day in and day out!

What is your most memorable performance with the Kansas City Symphony?

Probably the Saturday night performance of Shostakovich's Symphony No.1 in 2010. I remember Ann Bilderback playing so cold and sinisterly that I had goosebumps multiple times during that concert.

Tell us about your family and your hobbies.

I am the third oldest of four children. I love fish and have way too many aquariums in my house. I also have a collection of Japanese animation cels.

If you weren't a professional musician, what occupation would you choose?

Most likely an architect or carpenter.

What quality do you most admire in others?


What good book have you read recently?

Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth.

What is the one item you must have on a desert island?

Either my Xena: Warrior Princess or Desperate Housewives DVD collection!

What is your Kansas City Barbecue "joint" of choice?

Oklahoma Joe's BBQ