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.”
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 artist, having performed in more than 25 countries worldwide across four continents. Dr. Murphy has garnered a number of awards as a performer including international prizes in Belgium’s Adolphe Sax International Saxophone Competition, France’s Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition, and the Heida Hermanns International Woodwind Competition in the United States, and he has appeared in renowned concert halls throughout the world including New York City’s Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage and Merkin Concert Hall, Casals Hall (Tokyo); Palau de la Musica (Valencia, Spain); Muziekgebouw aan het Ij (Amsterdam); the Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), others. Dr. Murphy has taught saxophone classes at prestigious international music schools and festivals including Conservatoire de Paris, Amsterdam Conservatory, Cologne Academy of Music, Hamamatsu International Wind Instrument Academy and Festival, Japan Band Clinic, Institut Franz Schubert, Kunitachi College of Music, Liceu de Barcelona, Madrid Royal Conservatory, Clinic, Musashino Academy of Music, Nagoya College of Music, Osaka College of Music, Ravenna Music Festival, London Royal College of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Sydney Conservatorium, the World Saxophone Congress, and many more. He also is a recipient of teaching awards from Indiana University including the 2019 Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award, and the 2019 Indiana University New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship Award.
Dr. Murphy has released some fifteen recordings including four solo compact discs which have all received critical acclaim and has appeared in publications that include Saxophone Journal in the United States, Vandoren Magazine in France, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, Band Journal, Pipers and The Sax magazines, Clarinet and Saxophone Society Journal in the United Kingdom, and Dolomiten Magazin in Italy. Dr. Murphy has enjoyed a close relationship over the years with Japan having been invited annually since 2001 to present master classes and concerts and as a member of the artist/faculty of the Hamamatsu International Wind Instrument Academy and Festival since 2005. He 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.
Dr. Murphy’s students have received numerous accolades including Grand Prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and top prizes and awards in the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, Plowman Chamber Music Competition, Chesapeake Bay Chamber Music Competition, the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition, Heida Hermanns International Woodwind Competition, Arriaga Chamber Music Competition, Gaudeamus International Contemporary Music Competition (Netherlands), the Carmel Music Society Competition (the first time in the history of this competition in which a saxophonist was awarded the Grand Prize), the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, the Classical Saxophone Competition of the North American Saxophone Alliance, and the William Byrd Young Artist Competition, among several other awards. They also have won numerous positions in premier military concert bands including positions in the United States Navy Concert Band, the U.S. Army “Pershing’s Own” Ceremonial 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. In addition, Dr. Murphy’s students have held teaching positions in public school music programs and college teaching posts at Ithaca College, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Texas at Austin, California State University Long Beach, University of the Pacific, 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 and many others.
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. In addition, he pursued advanced studies in France under a Fulbright Fellowship for foreign study as a pupil of Jean-Yves Fourmeau at the Conservatoire National Régional de Musique in Cergy-Pontoise, earning the Prix de Perfectionnement à l’unanimité. Otis Murphy leads a very fulfilling life with his wife, pianist Haruko Murphy, as dedicated parents of their six children, and Otis and Haruko enjoy an active performance career together as a saxophone/piano duo.