Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saxophone Quartets

I did a little survey of saxophone quartets on YouTube and found some very good performances by young groups, many in the United quartets playing in recital. Good performances and very good repertoire. Many of these saxophone quartets have continued after college and some have won prestigious awards in chamber music competitions. A great example, is the New Century Quartet which won the Concert Artists Guild prize some years ago and managed to parley that into something beneficial. Most of the time, many young groups will do well in competitions and then not get the kind of performance schedule that a group needs to keep going in the years to follow. They disband and that's the end of it.
Most venues out there just don't generally support the saxophone quartet when they are making choices for their seasons.
The process of finding an audience for the saxophone quartet is many faceted. One way it can happen is through recordings, which in turn creates an interest in the sound that people hear. Radio stations can play an important role in this process. After that, recital venues have to take a chance and hire saxophone quartets to fill out their line-ups. Our quartet (WSaxQ) has been fortunate to perform at the Barns at Wolf Trap as well as other venues in the Washington area. Basically, venues in every city around the country need to make an effort to hire a saxophone quartet that they would enhance their programming.
It will happen...

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