Program Book 2002-2003 page 18
AMHERST SAXOPHONE QUARTET GROUP BIOGRAPHY

The Amherst Saxophone Quartet is a full-time professional ensemble now in its twenty-fifth 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, NBC-TV's Tonight Show, and CBS Sunday Morning.

The ASQ actively works to encourage and commission the composition of new music for saxophone quartet. In 2001, the ASQ was awarded commissioning grants from Chamber Music America and the American Composers Forum. Previous awards include the First Prize for Adventuresome Programming from CMA/ ASCAP in 1993, CMA Residency Grants for the 1985-86 through 1987-88 seasons, and commissioning prizes from CMA, NYSCA, and the NEA. In 1989, the Board of Directors of the Quartet sponsored an international composition competition and received over 120 new works from around the world.

The ASQ has many recordings to its credit. In June 2002, the Ensemble's recording of Paul Chihara's octet Forever Escher made together with the Arcata String Quartet was released on New World Records. The ASQ's previous CD release was a recording of Renaissance Masterworks by Josquin Desprez, transcribed for saxophone quartet by Susan Fancher and Harry Fackelman. The Quartet's CD "Lament on the Death of Music", released in 2001 on the Innova label, was produced by Judith Sherman. In addition to these recordings, 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 videotape introducing children to chamber music, called ASQKids.

The Amherst Quartet has been a performing member of Young Audiences of Western New York since 1979. The group also worked with young persons' programs at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Aesthetic Education Institute, and Arts in Education. 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 and Vandoren Companies.

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 repertoire that compares to that of the contemporary string quartet.

Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book 2002-03 Group Biography