Dennis Sullivan

Adjunct, Department of Music and Theater

Born in Akron, Ohio, Dennis K. Sullivan II is a percussionist, composer, electronicist and educator based in Queens NY.

As a percussionist focusing on new and contemporary music, Dennis is a founding member of the performance duo, Radical 2 with percussionist/electronics engineer, Levy Lorenzo. A classification-defying duo that explores the use of theatrical, vocal, percussive and prototype electronic mediums, Radical 2 has been bringing this unique blend to contemporary audiences for 10 years. Radical 2 has been featured on the 2019 and 2017 OpenICE series at the Abrons Arts Center, 2016 Omaha Under the Radar festival and also has been heard in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Berlin, London, Hamburg and elsewhere. They have held residencies at CNMAT (UC Berkeley),  Stanford University and Adelphi University.

He is also one half of Popebama, a high octane experimental percussion/saxophone duo with composer/saxophonist Erin Rogers, a duo who applies text, electronics, and high-energy instrumental writing to non-traditional sounds. Specializing in works conceived by Rogers and Sullivan, Popebama has championed composers such as Paul Pinto, Matthew Shlomowitz, Rick Burkhardt, Jenna Lyle, Chris Biggs and Daniel Silliman, and collaborated with performers such as yarn/wire (NYC), Tøyen Fil Og Klafferi (Oslo), Brandon Lopez (Brooklyn), Anne Le Berge (Amsterdam), and DECODER (Hamburg). Popebama has been featured on NYmusikk Bergen (Norway), Edmonton Fringe Festival (Canada), Splendor (Amsterdam), Diabolical Records (Salt Lake City), Bodies-As-Technology (Brooklyn), and Cleveland’s inaugural ReSound Festival, with lauded performances at the 2017 New Music Gathering, NASA 2018 Biennial (Cincinnati), SPLICE Festival (Kalamazoo) and The Stone (NYC).  Educational engagements include student workshops, masterclasses, and performances at the Hochschule fur Musik (Freiburg), UMass Amherst, UM Duluth (Minnesota), St Cloud State University (Minnesota) and The Walden School (New Hampshire). In Feburary of 2019, Popebama headlined the 49th Annual Festival of New Music at Ball State University, performing works written by and for the duo over the course of 5 performances. The high demand of the ensemble has garnered attention from presenters and new music advocates alike, resulting in a growing number of performances in the US and abroad. March of 2020 will see the premiere of "Fight. Songs," an evening length happening written for and performed with Decoder to be premiered at Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie in March 2020.

Dennis as well serves as percussionist and technical director for the Wavefield Ensemble, a collectively organized group of musicians dedicated to performing music and creating new artistic work at the highest level.

As a composer Dennis’s work has been heard in the US, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and Norway. He has been awarded a composition residency at the STEIM center for electro acoustic music in Amsterdam. His compositions have recently been performed by Yarn/Wire, Decoder, flutist Kenneth J. Cox, New Thread Saxophone Quartet, Hypercube, N/A Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente and others while being featured on the International Contemporary Ensemble's OpenICE series, nymusikk Bergen, SPLICE Festival, Ball State Festival of New Music, Omaha Under the Radar, Cleveland's reSound Festival and the Edmonton Fringe Festival. Upcoming projects include new works for Unheard-of// ensemble, guitarist Jay Sorce, flutist Kennith J. Cox, and "Fight. Songs" (previously mentioned).

Dennis has been awarded the grand prize at the Van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence, and has received the Stipiendienpreise at the Darmstadt International Ferienkurse fur Neue Musik (Darmstadt, Germany). His festival appearances have included Darmstadt, NIME 2014 at Goldsmith’s University (featured soloist), OpenICE, Look + Listen Festival, Cleveland's ReSound Festival, The Moving Sounds Festival, The Edmonton Fringe Festival, nymusikk Bergen, The Ball State Festival for New Music, The Ecstatic Music Festival,The Klangspuren Festival (Ensemble Modern Academy), NASA (north american saxophone alliance), Omaha Under the Radar, ACA Festival of American Music, Make Music New York, and the Woodstock Fringe Festival. He has recorded for the New Amsterdam, Mode and Original Abstraction labels. He has shared the stage with leading contemporary music ensembles such as The Argento New Music Project, Either/Or, The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), ECCE Ensemble, Ensemble Court Circuit, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Sequitur, Newband, Iktus Percussion, Mivos, The Darmstadt Preistrager Forum, Ensemble Modern Academy, and many more. He has performed in leading NYC venues such as BAM, Roulette, Merkin Hall, Miller Theater, Symphony Space, The Stone, The Cell, The Tank, The Firehouse Space, Saint Peter's Church and JACK where he has successfully curated a yearly series of theatrically driven new music, bringing together classical music, theater, rock, heavy metal, and film all under the umbrella of "theatrically driven art."

Dennis holds a Bachelor of Music (BM) from the Hartt School of Music as well as Master of Music (MM) and Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) from SUNY Stony Brook University. Dennis currently serves as adjunct professor of percussion as well as the director of the wind ensemble at Adelphi University. He is also an adjunct lecturer in Music at Manhattan College and is on faculty at the Walden School's Young Musicians’ program.

Courses Taught

  • MUSC 150: Roots: Music
  • MUSC 380: History of Sound Recording & Audio Technology
  • MUSC 410: Independent Study