The Italian Saxophone Quartet was founded in 1982 by four saxophone soloists, close friends determined to join together to perform chamber music for saxophone at the very highest artistic level. Since then, they have played to wide acclaim in more than 500 concerts in Italy (including the most important concert institutions), France, Germany, Spain, Greece, Japan, USA, Sweden, Lebanon, Bermuda and Russia. The quartet’s concerts have been recorded and broadcast by the Italian RAI-Radio 1 and RAI-Radio 3 as well as by Swedish, German, Japanese and American national radios.
The quartet won a number of important chamber music competitions including the unanimous First Prize, plus a special prize, at the prestigious “Premio Ancona” in Italy.
Among their important projects, in 1999 the quartet performed Berio’s work “Outis” with the Symphony Orchestra of Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. They appeared as soloists with the Malipiero Symphony Orchestra in works by Piazzolla and Dubois, and collaborated with the Fonè String Quartet on the creation a new arrangement of the Art of the Fugue by J.S. Bach for string and saxophone quartets, which was premiered at the XXII International Chamber Music Festival in Asolo.
ISQ’s annual tours of the United States have brought them to New York City (where they showcased at the annual Arts Presenters Conference), the Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, and venues in New York State, California, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Idaho and Alaska. A highlight of their current season is their Washington DC début with two concerts on the prestigious Dumbarton Oaks series in Washington DC.
International activities include concerts at the Bermuda International Festival, the Alicante Festival (Spain), the Oleg Kagan Musikfest in Munich (Germany), the Palaces of St. Petersburg Chamber Music Festival (Russia), and the Al Bustan Festival in Beirut.
Their discography include two CDs on the Delos label and a CD of contemporary music on the Pentaphon label.
A sampling of their critical praise includes:
“Every note of the evening was exquisite, and this team really knew how to put on a show . . . spanned the globe and musical styles . . . perfection of style, timing, and showmanship . . . they had us all dancing and frolicking right along with them . . . Bravissimo!”—Sarasota Herald Tribune
“As close to a religious experience as you could get without being in church.”—L.A. Observed
“CONCERT A SELL-OUT [Headline]
An overwhelming success . . . It was standing room only to hear an extraordinary performance by four of the top saxophonists on the international scene. The unsurpassed masters immersed the audience in an indescribable atmosphere . . . Ethereal and sensual sounds alternated with blazing virtuosity . . . The audience was conquered, and entranced, and they exploded in a standing ovation, demanding encore after encore—and were rewarded again and again.” —Il Corriere Adriatico
“Think you don ‘t like saxophone quartets? Oh my, think again! . . . A revelation . . . knocked me out from the first notes.” —Monterey Peninsula Herald
“Enthusiasm reached stratospheric heights for the Italian Saxophone Quartet . . . seductive and impassioned . . . a scintillating whirlwind of a performance, shifting from muscular sonorities to delicate wisps of sound . . . jaw-dropping virtuosity.” —Messaggero Veneto
“Never before have I heard anything quite as wonderful!” —Joe Harnell, four-time GRAMMY winning composer
“Among the most interesting groups on the Italian musical scene, as much for the originality of its instrumentation as for the unquestionable quality of its performance.” —Il Messaggero, Rome
“A perfect ensemble . . . spectacular.” —Gazzetta del Sud