Otis Murphy

Otis Murphy
Classical Saxophone

Fanfare Magazine writes, “Immediately upon hearing Murphy, one is struck by the extraordinarily golden tone he produces on his instrument. . . .  Murphy’s ease, fluidity and perfect blending of registers on his instrument is extraordinary, as is his phrasing.”  Chicago Tribune states, “Murphy’s playing is bright, alert . . . always with a polish and sensitivity that make the most of the music.”  Indianapolis Star declares, “Murphy played with the sweetest tone imaginable.”  International French saxophonist Jean-Yves Fourmeau voices, “Otis Murphy is an exceptional artist, possessing an extraordinary musical sense combined with a stunning technique.”  Saxophone Journal writes, “Otis Murphy’s tone is superb, warm, supple, and intense. . . .  He has the ability to phrase the music so that it takes on a life of its own, making the music weave into musical stories that enliven the listener’s imagination.”  And Japan’s The Sax writes, “Otis Murphy’s performance made every saxophonist in attendance reconsider his or her awareness of what is a beautiful saxophone sound.”

Dr. Murphy holds the position of Professor of Saxophone in the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, joining the faculty at the age of 28 and becoming one of the youngest faculty members in its history.  He is in great demand as an international soloist and clinician, having gained wide recognition on four continents: North America (United States and Canada), Europe (Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland and Wales), Asia (Japan, Singapore and Taiwan), and Australia.  He has performed in some of the great concert halls of the world including Casals Hall in Tokyo; Merkin Concert Hall in New York City; Palau de la Musica in Valencia, Spain; the Strathmore in Washington, D. C.; Opera City Concert Hall in Tokyo; Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao, Spain; Phoenix Hall in Osaka; and Isaac Stern Concert Hall in Miyazaki, Japan.  He also has presented saxophone classes and appeared as a guest professor at such prestigious music schools and festivals as the Amsterdam Conservatory, Anton-Bruckner-Privatuniversität, the British Saxophone Congress, College Band Directors National Association (CBNA) Conference, Cologne Academy of Music, the Frankfurt International Classical Saxophone Festival, Hamamatsu International Wind Instrument Academy and Festival, the Japan Band Clinic, Institut Franz Schubert, Kunitachi College of Music, Liceu de Barcelona, Madrid Royal Conservatory, the Midwest Clinic, Musashino Academy of Music, Osaka College of Music, the Ravenna Music Festival, London Royal College of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Sydney Conservatorium, the World Saxophone Congress, and many more.  As a soloist, Dr. Murphy has been a guest soloist with ensembles that include the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo Sinfonia, Flint Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonie, Bruno Moderna Chamber Orchestra, Musashino Wind Ensemble, the United States Navy Band, and the Yamaha Symphonic Band.

Dr. Murphy has garnered a number of awards included prizes in Belgium’s Adolphe Sax International Saxophone Competition, the Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition in France, and the Heida Hermanns International Woodwind Competition in the United States.  He has enjoyed a close relationship over the years with Japan, in particular, having been invited annually since 2001 to present master classes and concerts and having been a member of the artist/faculty of the Hamamatsu International Wind Instrument Academy since 2005.  Dr. Murphy was awarded the S & R Foundation’s Washington Award and its special Ambassador Award (which the S & R Foundation created especially for Dr. Murphy) in recognition of his contributions to Japanese and American understanding.  In addition, he acts a consultant in the research and development of Yamaha saxophones.  He has released some fifteen recordings including four solo compact discs which have all received critical acclaim.  In addition, he has appeared in publications that include Saxophone Journal in the United States, Vandoren Magazine in France, Japan’s Band Journal, Pipers and The Sax magazines, Clarinet and Saxophone Society Journal in the United Kingdom, and Dolomiten Magazin in Italy. 

Dr. Murphy’s students have received numerous accolades including Grand Prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, 1st Prize in the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, 1st Prize in the inaugural International Saxophone Symposium and Competition (ISSAC), 1st Prize in the Heida Hermanns International Woodwind Competition, 1st Prize in the Arriaga Chamber Music Competition, 3rd Prize in the Gaudeamus International Contemporary Music Competition (Netherlands), and 1st Prize in the William Byrd Young Artist Competition, among several other awards.  In addition, they hold significant professional teaching posts including college teaching positions at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, California State University Long Beach, Miami University (Ohio), the University of Louisville, DePauw University (Indiana), Augustana College (Illinois), Northern Ohio University, Southern Arkansas University, the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts.  They also have won positions in premier military concert bands including positions in the United States Army “Pershing’s Own” Ceremonial Band, the U.S. Navy Concert Band, the U.S. Coast Guard Band, the U. S. Army Field Band, the U. S. Naval Academy Band, and the U. S. Army West Point Band.

Dr. Murphy holds Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, graduating with the Performer’s Certificate, the highest honor given to a performer at this institution; and the Bachelor of Music Education degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Georgia.  In addition, he pursued advanced studies in France under a Fulbright Fellowship for foreign study at the Conservatoire National Régional de Musique in Cergy-Pontoise, earning the Prix de Perfectionnement by a unanimous decision of the jury.  His saxophone teachers include Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Eugene Rousseau, and Kenneth Fischer.  Dr. Murphy is a Yamaha Performing Artist and a D’Addario Performing Artist and member of D’Addario’s Musician’s Advisory Board.  He is a founding member and soprano saxophonist in Solaire Saxophone Quartet.  Otis Murphy resides in Bloomington, Indiana with his wife, Haruko, and their six children.

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