Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Zagreb Saxophone Quartet to visit UGA as Willson Center Visiting Artists

The Zagreb Saxophone Quartet will visit the University of Georgia for a one-week residency from Oct. 26-30 as Willson Center for Humanities and Arts Visiting Artists. The residency will culminate in a performance on Saturday, Oct. 31, that will kick-off the 32nd season of the Franklin College Chamber Music Series. The performance is at 8 p.m. in Hodgson Hall of the UGA Performing Arts Center. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Founded by graduates of the Zagreb Academy of Music in Zagreb, Croatia, the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet has been performing with its current members since 1989. The quartet, Dragan Sremec, Goran Mercep, Sasa Nestorovic and Matjaz Drevensek, has performed the world over with symphony orchestras and big band jazz ensembles alike, under the baton of distinguished conductors as well as alongside some the world’s most renowned soloists.

Their repertoire includes pieces originally written for the saxophone quartet as well as transcriptions and arrangements of pieces by various composers of periods from the baroque to the 20th century.

“The members of this quartet have extraordinary abilities both as chamber musicians and in their interactions with students,” said Kenneth Fischer, professor of saxophone in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music and longtime colleague of the quartet members. “It’s important for our students to be able to work with these individuals over several days and get to know them as performers, as teachers and as musicians.”

The Zagreb quartet members will spend the week at UGA working with individual students in the music school, coaching quartets and teaching master classes. The residency will include mini-concerts and open rehearsals for the Saturday performance.

“These are wonderful musicians, artists who will teach our students and inspire our audiences,” said Dale Monson, director of the school. “We are grateful for the Willson Center grant that will allow for their extended stay on campus.”

Founded in 1987 and named in 2005 for its benefactors, the Jane and Harry Willson Center for the Humanities and Arts promotes scholarly inquiry and creative activity by supporting faculty research grants, lectures, symposia, publications, visiting scholars and artists, collaborative instruction, and public conferences, exhibitions and performances. The Center is a unit of the Office of the Vice president for Research.

The Franklin College Chamber Music Series was established in 1978 by former dean William Jackson “Jack” Payne and continues to be presented without charge thanks to individual contributions from music lovers and patrons of the cultural life of both the university and the community.

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