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Otis Murphy

Professor of Music (Saxophone)

Contact Information:
East Studio Building, JS338



  • D.M., Doctor of Music, Indiana University, 2006
  • Prix de Perfectionnement, Conservatoire National Regional de Musique de Cergy-Pontoise, 2000
  • M.M., Master of Music, Indiana University, 1998
  • B.M.E., Bachelor of Music Education, University of Georgia, 1995

Otis Murphy is professor of saxophone at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, joining the faculty at the age of 28 in 2001 and becoming one of the youngest faculty members in its history. He is in great demand as an international soloist and clinician, having performed in some 20 countries worldwide across four continents.

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.

He has appeared in renowned concert halls throughout the world, including Casals Hall (Tokyo), Merkin Concert Hall (New York City), Palau de la Musica (Valencia, Spain), Muziekgebouw aan het Ij (Amsterdam), Kimmel Center (Philadelphia). He has taught saxophone classes at prestigious international music schools and festivals, including 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, World Saxophone Congress, and many more. During the 2016 season, he will make his Carnegie Hall debut at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage as a guest soloist with the Indiana University Wind Ensemble.

Murphy holds Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Jacobs School of Music, graduating with the Performer’s Certificate, the highest honor given to a performer at Jacobs. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education magna cum laude degree 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. Murphy is a Yamaha Performing Artist and a D’Addario Performing Artist and member of D’Addario’s Musician’s Advisory Board.

Murphy and his wife, pianist Haruko Murphy, are dedicated homeschooling parents of their six children.


"Otis Murphy is an exceptional artist, possessing an extraordinary musical sense combined with a stunning technique," says international saxophonist Jean-Yves Fourmeau.

Chicago Tribune writes, "Murphy's playing is bright, alert . . . always with a polish and sensitivity that make the most of the music."

The Western Australian Today writes, "American saxophone player Otis Murphy was introduced as the 'eighth wonder of the world,' and his recital had all the right ingredients to keep his audience spellbound."

The Indianapolis Star states that "Murphy played with the sweetest tone imaginable."

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."

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."

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