Program Book 1998-1999 page 15
Amherst Saxophone Quartet History

The Amherst Saxophone Quartet is a full time professional ensemble that splits its time between touring and its residency at the University at Buffalo, and in Buffalo & Erie County.

The ASQ was formed in January of 1978, and is now celebrating its twenty first full season of concert performances. The ensemble has performed in the United States from Maine to Hawaii, Japan, Bermuda, and the British Virgin Islands. Concert highlights include appearances in Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Chautauqua Institution, and broadcasts on National Public Radio's All Things Considered and Performance Today, Public Radio International's St. Paul Sunday, Voice of America, and NBC-TV's Tonight Show.

The ASQ was awarded Chamber Music America Residency Grants for the 1985-86 through 1987-88 seasons. The ensemble received the 1993 First Prize for Adventuresome Programming from CMA/ ASCAP. The Ensemble has been awarded commissioning prizes from CMA, NYSCA, and the NEA. The Board of the Quartet sponsored an international composition competition and received over 120 new works from around the world.

The ASQ's newest CD is a recording of music by four living North American composers, and showcases the charm and freshness of the best of today's 'classical' music. The CD is called Lament on the Death of Music, and was produced by Judith Sherman. In addition to this recording on the Innova label (American Composers Forum), the ASQ has recorded four albums for MCA Records, Musical Heritage Society, and Mark Records. These include two recordings of new American music, an all-Bach album, an all-Eubie Blake disc, and a collaboration with Lukas Foss. In 1997 the ensemble released a video tape introducing children to chamber music, called ASQKids. It is believed to be the first video of its kind. The Amherst Quartet has been a performing member of Young Audiences of WNY since 1979. The group also worked with young persons' programs at the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Lincoln Center (New York, NY), Aesthetic Education Institute (Rochester, NY), and Arts in Education (Buffalo, NY). As the Quartet travels, it performs many short term residencies in conjunction with its concert performances. The members of the ASQ are clinicians for the Selmer Company and Vandoren Reed Products.

The ASQ's long term goals include maintaining a permanent repertory ensemble of the highest international caliber and encouraging composers to write for saxophone quartet to create a 20th and 21 st century repertory that compares to that of the contemporary string quartet.

Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book History