13 Julio 2015
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Nexas Recital – quartet

A. Smith, J. Byrnes, M. Duke & N. Henshaw / contemporary

Website(s) : http://www.nexasquartet.com

The Nexas Saxophone Quartet presents the world premiere of E. Kats-Chernin’s “From Anna Magdelana’s Notebook”, originally for string quartet and arranged especially for SaxOpen.

projet 1590 Sax Quartet DS15446-300x212


Founded in 2002 the Nexas Quartet is Australia’s foremost saxophone quartet. Focused on promoting the musical plurality of the saxophone, Nexas showcases their versatility and ability across all genres. This unique approach has enabled the ensemble to perform throughout Australia and internationally, displaying the diversity of the repertoire, ranging from transcriptions, standards, and contemporary repertoire to collaborations with varied artists as well as premièring and commissioning new works. Nexas has performed in some of Australia’s leading festivals, local and national radio, as well as the World Saxophone Congress in Scotland 2012. In 2014 Nexas launched a subscription series of concerts (first of its kind for an Australian saxophone quartet), which was met with great acclaim.

More informations

Dr. Michael Duke (soprano saxophonist of Nexas Quartet, professor of saxophone Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australia) has with the composer’s permission, made a new arrangement of Elena Kats-Chernin’s seminal string Quartet “From Anna Magdelana’s Notebook”. This performance at the WSC in Strasbourg will be the world première.

Of the work itself the composer says ” Few things played a role here: Anna Magdalena, singer, wife, mother was a superwoman in the Bach household, taking care of J. S. Bach and many children, looking after students, guest musicians passing through and at the same time keeping up the high role that the music played in their lives. Bach gave her Clavierbuechlein in 1725 which he started with two partitas, the rest was gathered over years. So, in fact it is not always J. S. Bach himself who wrote all the pieces. Sometimes they were written by his sons or by students or friends. I decided to choose the ones that I liked the most. And also the ones which would work in contrast with each other. The way I worked with the material was to give the original piece a chance to sound recognizable, at the same time giving it an impetus to change direction.”

Her music is performed world-wide, and to have this new version of one of her most substantial compositions is a great boost to the saxophone repertoire.

Elena Kats-Chernin is one of the most cosmopolitan composers working today, having reached millions of listeners worldwide through her prolific catalogue of works for theater, ballet, orchestra, and chamber ensemble. Her dramatically vivid music communicates a mixture of lightheartedness and heavy melancholy, combining strong rhythmic figures with elements of cabaret, tango, ragtime, and klezmer.
Born in 1957 in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Kats-Chernin received training at the Gnesin Musical College before immigrating to Australia in 1975. She graduated from the New South Wales Conservatory in 1981 and was awarded a DAAD (German academic exchange) grant to study with Helmut Lachenmann in Hanover. She remained in Germany for 13 years, returning in 1994 to Australia where she now lives in Sydney.
One of Australia’s leading composers, Elena Kats-Chernin has created works in nearly every genre. Among her many commissions are pieces for Ensemble Modern, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Rascher Saxophone Quartet, Sequitur, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Opera Australia, all the major Australian symphony orchestras, Present Music, and the North Carolina Symphony.
In 2000 she collaborated with leading Australian choreographer Meryl Tankard in a series of large-scale dance works. The first of these, “Deep Sea Dreaming”, was broadcast to an audience of millions worldwide as part of the opening ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
For 7 years Kats-Chernin’s music was heard on TV and at the cinema in the UK with the long-running Lloyds TSB advertising campaign “For the journey…” employing Eliza Aria from her ballet Wild Swans


13/07/2015 13:00 - 13:30

Cité de la musique et de la danse - Salle 19

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Musicians / speakers

  • Smith Andrew / Alto Saxophone (Australia)
  • Byrnes Jay / Baritone Saxophone (Australia)
  • Duke Michael / Soprano Saxophone (Australia)
  • Henshaw Nathan / Tenor Saxophone (Australia)


  • From Anna Magdelena's Notebook (Elena Kats-Chernin) / World Premiere





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