Saxophilia Saxophone Quartet – “Metamorphosis”
Join Vancouver’s Saxophilia saxophone quartet for an early-summer program of new and exciting chamber music. David Branter (soprano sax), Tony Sheppard (alto sax), Julia Nolan (tenor sax), and Colin MacDonald (baritone sax) present the latest works by Vancouver and American composers. Jazz and symphonic film music are brought to light by Vancouver’s Fred Stride, the poems of satirist Shel Silverstein are painted in sound by American composer Adam Sovkoplas, New York’s own Bang on a Can founder David Lang gives a post-minimalist Revolutionary Etude, and quartet member Colin MacDonald presents the world premiere of his Triple Sax Quartet. Cutting-edge and accessible, Saxophilia entertains with virtuosity and humour.
Award-winning jazz composer Fred Stride tips his hat to the symphonic sounds of Bernard Herrmann with his sweeping Metamorphosis, a four part work that leaps and dances with rich textures and soaring melodies. Stride also transforms a tune by the legendary Duke Ellington in his Latin-rhythm setting of Purple Gazelle, featuring the improvisational skills of David Branter on soprano saxophone. Saxophone Quartet No. 1: A Taste of Silverstein by American composer Adam P. Sovkoplas shows off the lighter side of the saxophone quartet, with a work inspired by the satirical and surreal poetry of Shel Silverstein. Accompanying the movements will be readings of the poems “The Yipiyuk,” “The Worst,” and “Dancing Pants.” The exciting post-minimalist music of David Lang, co-founder of the Bang on a Can organization in New York, is well-represented in Revolutionary Etude No. 1: Lyrical and Hard, a kaleidoscope of melody and rhythm. Saxophilia is also excited to present the world premiere of quartet member Colin MacDonald’s brand new Triple Sax Quartet, written for three quartets (one live and two pre-recorded), and inspired by the multiple like-instrument works of Steve Reich.
Formed in 1996, the Saxophilia saxophone quartet has been performing to acclaim in their home location of Vancouver, BC and across Western Canada. Saxophilia performs regularly at post-secondary institutions in the Lower Mainland including Douglas College, Vancouver Community College, and the University of British Columbia. They have been featured artists at North American Saxophone Alliance concerts in Vancouver, Victoria, and Saskatoon, and performed at the World Saxophone Congress in Montreal, Canada in 2000. In 2001 Saxophilia performed Michael Colgrass’ Urban Requiem concerto for saxophone quartet and wind ensemble with the University of Saskatchewan and University of British Columbia wind ensembles. The quartet formed the saxophone section for the Vancouver premiere of John Adams’ Nixon in China, produced by Vancouver Opera in 2010. Since 2007 they have regularly performed for the ArtsWay program of Health Arts Society, providing live music to residential and extended care health facilities. Live performances of Saxophilia have been recorded for broadcast on CBC Radio2.