Director: Charles Q. Sullivan
Charles Q. Sullivan has been active in Milwaukee’s cultural scene since founding the Sullivan Chamber Ensemble (later the Sullivan Ensemble) in 1971. This semiprofessional collective of singers and instrumentalists presented more than 200 performances of over 120 programs of choral and orchestral music ranging from chant to avant-garde, in performances ranging from solo recitals to full-scale choral/orchestral ensembles, before disbanding in 1982. Among its honors, the Ensemble performed for the National Convention of the American Choral Directors in 1978, the same year Sullivan was named the Milwaukee Jaycee’s Outstanding Artist of the Year. During that time he also incorporated Kaleidoscope Artists Management, Ltd, to help local performers and potential presenters find each other.
From 1985-1992 he was Executive Producer/Director of the highly successful liturgical drama productions at The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, presenting multiple sold-out staged performances of the Medieval Play of Daniel and Britten’s St. Nicolas. The only interruption in his participation in the Milwaukee arts scene over the past 50 years was for his appointment as Director of Music for the Catholic Cathedral and Diocese of Columbus (OH) from 1992 to 1999.
Shortly after returning to Milwaukee in mid-1999, he was invited to take on leadership of Early Music Now (Milwaukee’s internationally recognized presenter of Medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque artists), serving as Executive and Artistic Director until his retirement from that organization in 2017. He currently continues a long-term appointment as Chapel Musician at St. John’s on the Lake in Milwaukee.
Sullivan’s education includes degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and the Wisconsin College-Conservatory of Music, with additional studies at the College of St. Benedict, St. John’s University (MN), and the New England Conservatory of Music. His training as a conductor includes work with Kenneth Schermerhorn and Roger Wagner, as well as Fiora Contina and John Nelson as recipient of a fellowship to the Aspen Institute’s advanced conducting seminar in 1976.
The founding of Musica Sacra signals Sullivan’s continuing commitment to exercising his broad background and creative energies to expand the perception and advance the cause of the performing arts in the Milwaukee community.