a titan of contemporary music and the instrument in general

Zachary Lewis
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland (10/7/14)

McAllister was the tirelessly virtuosic soloist, playing with rhythmic drive and confident swagger…

Hugo Shirley
The Telegraph (UK) (9/5/14)

McAllister’s beautiful high register rivaled that of a coloratura vocalist…

Review of PRISM Quartet
The New York City Jazz Record

a fearless musician and risk taker…a one-of-a-kind artist the way Yo-Yo Ma is

John Adams
Pulitzer Prize Laureate and Grammy-winning composer

Certainly this is a virtuosic piece, designed to test the limits of the soloist for whom it was written, Tim McAllister, who showed his technical chops and his expressive musicianship with a piece that had his instrument now noodling thoughtfully, now dashing in crazy, frenetic runs up and down the scale…

Anne Midgette
Washington Post (Sept 2013)

Soloist Timothy McAllister proved brilliantly up to the enormous demands — vast spreads of pitches, disjunct lines that wanted to be as lyrical as possible and some dazzling scurries.

Scott Cantrell
The Dallas Morning News (4/25/12)

McAllister shone in the virtuosic concerto, navigating the perilous runs and figures with ease while keeping a high level of technical proficiency. His musicality was the high point of the performance, especially in the opening movement where Dahl eschewed a steady beat and rhythm, leaving the soloist to push forward the musical line. The final movement was a whirlwind of fingers, but each note and phrase was perfectly placed.

John Norine, Jr.
'Theater Jones

[Glint] is a varied anthology of contemporary pieces…tangy, oxygen rich and kaleidoscopic.

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb-International (UK)

Timothy McAllister is both an agile soloist, easily surmounting any technical hurdles, and an expressive, communicative musician able to plumb the depths or scale the heights of these contemporary composers’ inspirations. His fellow musicians are equally accomplished; these renditions are finely honed collaborations between talented peers.

R. Schulslaper
FANFARE Magazine

hypnotically swirling lines and propulsive rhythms…brilliantly performed by all concerned and recorded with life-like fidelity.

FANFARE Magazine
FANFARE Magazine

…jaw-dropping technical display…a well-known master of his instrument.

Daniel Coombs
Audiophile Audition

brilliant solos were in abundance, especially by Timothy McAllister…

Janos Gereben
San Francisco Classical Voice

McAllister precisely conveyed the mood of every stylistic alley into which Bolcom peered. His saxophone delivered dialogue, as well as notes, as he brought his own experiences to Bolcom’s hodgepodge of a musical canvas…the arrangement of John Williams’ Catch Me If You Can score gives plenty of opportunity to display his technical wizardry and dynamic control.

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs
'Critic, Theater Jones

The LA Phil played superbly, with special kudos to saxophonist Timothy McAllister…

Robert D. Thomas
Music Critic, Pasadena Star-News

The LA Philharmonic played beautifully throughout the performance (indeed, through the entire evening), with notable solo work from Timothy McAllister on saxophone…

Robert D. Thomas
Music Critic, Pasadena Star-News

[City Noir’s] second movement, “The Song Is for You,” is softer and, on the surface, sweeter than the first, and jazzy. I heard hints of Gershwin in the horns after a flamboyant saxophone solo played by Timothy McAllister.

Mark Swed
Los Angeles Times

…[Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso] radiates charm and affection for the vernacular roots of the saxophone. Scampering lines, bluesy swoons, crooning ballads, a ballroom waltz and a swing-band blitz leave the scent of jazz and impressionist harmony in the air…

Mark Stryker

They [McAllister and Class] give a truly remarkable performance of Lilith…a superior recording.

William Bolcom

Originating from the roots of the classical repertoire, the saxophone has long been an instrument associated with the smooth sounds of jazz and popular music. The modern evolution of the saxophone was one fueled by such composers as George Gershwin, Alexander Glazunov, Debussy, and Ravel. They realized that the instrument’s warmth and versatility were attractive elements in creating a new soloistic modern repertoire. Timothy McAllister’s SCENA attempts to show the unique side of the saxophone’s voice in today’s musical landscape by presenting works written to push the limits. In taking a fearless approach that feasts upon all manners of music, McAllister’s performance proves his ability to present a wide range of styles with an unwavering presence. Beginning with the title track, Andrew Mead’s “Scena,” McAllister sets the tone for the entire album by interpreting highly chromatic, twelve-tone oriented passages with ease. Christian Lauba’s “Steady Study on the Boogie” is filled with explosive techniques that show McAllister’s technical prowess. Paul Steinberg’s “Sax Notes” delves deep into the highest registers of the instrument. Fusing multi-phonics with digital tape sequences, the music is blended to sound as if one. Other noted works are Elliott Carter’s “Inner Song,” Stockhausen’s circular “In Freundschaft,” and Benjamin Broening’s playful “Variations/Doubles,” all of which present McAllister in highly distinguished performances.

Scena Editorial
Editorial Review found at

Knockout performances by this high-energy ensemble…in this high-end audiophile recording supervised by many of the composers.

Imagination 97
“Imagination '97”

McAllister and Goodson have teamed up to present a meticulously performed CD of new music with balance and precision of ensemble rapport, while their musical approach allows the music to sing and move forward effortlessly from the first note through the last note. In Transit does indeed move the listener, with both musical and emotional energy.

Frank Bongiorno
The Saxophone Journal

one that will be studied and admired by saxophonists everywhere, yet deserves a still wider audience…remarkably good and thought provoking.

FANFARE Magazine

Timothy McAllister and Kathryn Goodson attain sparkling heights on In Transit, a recording of saxophone and piano pieces. The range of style is broad. Etezady’s Streetlegal, commissioned by the duo, is a pleasingly violent, bravura flourish of an opening. Albright’s Sonata is gripping, deftly binding sections of scintillating textures with more melodically based passages. The roles of alto saxophone and piano are fluid and intimately interactive, forming a strong partnership. The second movement, a lament for a deceased friend, is profoundly sad and beautifully played. III and IV allow further exciting opportunity for the players to flutter, flit, and dance madly. The first two works alone reveal the scope of the performers’ skill and the scope of the repertoire. The Babbitt adeptly covers wide rhythmic and pitch territory in under two minutes. Wanamaker’s brief, energetic sonata (commissioned by McAllister) explores different types of motion and energy (moto perpetuo, stasis, and 'rondo psycho’), themes that run through the entire program. Zupko’s title work, commissioned by McAllister, is a series of impressionist movements, each presenting a different mood, but all containing shared melodic material.

American Record Guide

Tim McAllister is a stunning saxophonist…he has played and recorded two of my saxophone works, and I can’t imagine them being played any better by anyone.

William Bolcom
Pulitzer Prize in Composition 1988

Mead’s melodies are angular and supple, and McAllister renders them with a lyrical modern touch. Steady Study on the Boogie…is a fascinating piece, and McAllister plays it beautifully.

Steve Hicken
American Record Guide - Review of Scena

…the music is dramatic and colorful, requiring all sorts of novel saxophone sounds…high level of musicality in the playing…the musicianship of Duo Nuova is impeccable. McAllister’s tone is creamy, and his fingering and tonguing are impressive.

Stephen Max
American Record Guide

Higdon’s Soprano Sax Concerto began and ended in a pastoral mood (a la Copland’s Clarinet Concerto) and featured smooth, sweet and virtuosic playing by Timothy McAllister.

Scott MacClelland
Metro Santa Cruz

No doubt this disc will be much studied and admired by saxophonists and certainly deserves hearing among a still wider audience…remarkably good and thought provoking

Robert McColley
Fanfare Magazine - Review of Visions

Mr. McAllister “has a singing legato matched with excellent and fluent technique…a superior performer.”

Philip Farkas
Legendary Hornist, Former Principal Horn, Chicago Symphony

Friday evening, Jennifer Higdon’s lyrical Soprano Sax Concerto displayed the classical capabilities of the instrument and the musical talents of soloist Timothy McAllister. The music concentrates on song-like lines and emotional sensitivity rather than virtuosic fireworks, though McAllister’s gleaming tone and supple runs enhanced this fine work.

Phyllis Rosenblum
The Santa Cruz Sentinel

One of America’s bright young stars in teaching and in performing…exceptionally gifted.

Michael Segell
Author and Editor, New York Daily News

…McAllister performed solos crucial to the work’s flavor with brashness that never overpowered a beautifully rounded tone.

Michael Rodman
The Ann Arbor News

Top Classical Saxophone Recordings — Timothy McAllister (Scena and Visions)

Mark Stryker
Detroit Free Press, October 2000

a mature, polished performer…whose dynamic and color contrasts enhance his ability to communicate — Bravo!

Leone Buyse
Former Associate Principal Flute, Boston Symphony Orchestra

…a contrasting sense of solemnity followed…yet moving…

Jeremy Eichler
The New York Times

The [Cabrillo Festival Opening] concert’s highlight concluded its first half: Jennifer Higdon’s Soprano Sax Concerto…and it was superbly realized by soloist Timothy McAllister…This work is a significant testament to beauty.

Jeff Dunn
San Francisco Classical Voice

Chambers’ Come Down Heavy! …a tour de force that tested the upper sonic limits in wild and woolly playing by Timothy McAllister on alto sax…

John Fleming
St. Petersburg Times

Timothy McAllister is one of the best soprano players I have ever heard. The way he performs my Garden of Love, with such ease, even in the high registers, is simply stunning: a breathtaking polished tone, combined with brilliant singing vibrato, and this typical American swing, what more could a composer want…Chapeau!

Jacob ter Veldhuis
Celebrated Dutch Avant-Pop composer

McAllister’s evocative renditions and virtuoso artistry throughout the CD [SCENA] enables the music, as well as the saxophone, to transcend the potential pitfalls inherent in an ambitious project of this nature and allow the listener to be embraced by the musical challenges presented for both performer and listener…an excellent CD in both performance and composition of music.

Frank Bongiorno
The Saxophone Symposium

Timothy McAllister gave intense, intelligent performances…mournful [and] exuberant…

Bruce Hodges
S&H International Concert Review - MusicWeb (UK)

It was Higdon’s concerto that offered the most sublime musical moments on the program…her saxophone concerto is an extremely lyrical piece whose ideas are clear and free of musical meandering…The work was played with warmth and agility by saxophonist Timothy McAllister…In the realm of contemporary music, finding a jewel amid the programmed mix is a rare music moment. And this concert delivered it with Higdon’s concerto.

Edward Ortiz
The Sacramento Bee

Your record [SCENA] is exceptional and the interpretation of Steady Study on the Boogie is maybe the best I have ever heard…Thank you for playing and teaching my music so brilliantly!

Christian Lauba
Award-winning French composer

…McAllister’s flexibility of sound, judicious use of vibrato, ease of altissimo, and tonal techniques make it possible to listen without distraction.

Debra McKim
The Saxophone Symposium

In Jennifer Higdon’s 2007 Soprano Saxophone Concerto, Tim McAllister was equally amazing. He produced a clearly focused sound in all registers — and some were very extreme…Higdon’s formal organization also is quite free, but her single-movement concept kept musical ideas fairly compact. McAllister’s artistry helped.

Gregory Barnes
The State, Columbia, South Carolina