The Amsterdam Saxophone Quartet

"No other instrument is many-sided like the saxophone. Our saxes just beg us to play all different kinds of music."

Daphne Balvers
Rob Hauser
Bart Kok
Henk van Twillert

The Amsterdam Saxophone Quartet was founded in 1979 by four students of the Sweelinck Superior School of Music in Amsterdam. Though the quartet consists of four classical schooled musicians, its Repertoire covers a wide range of different styles. Beside the traditional French Repertoire for saxophone quartet, the ASQ also played a lot of pieces by contemporary Dutch composers, partly written by order of the ASQ. The rest of their Repertoire consists of arrangements and original pieces varying from 'striptease' to 'heavy metal' and anything in-between.

Examples are:

"Slight Return" by Jimi Hendrix
"Frank Zappa Suite"
"Portorican Suite"
"Fado Suite"
"Duke Ellington Suite"
"Rock 'n Roll Suite"

The quartet also often plays together with guest soloists. Performances with popular Dutch artists like singer Manke Nelis, accordionist Johnny Meijer and his successor Eddie Hoorenman, jazz saxophonist Hans Dulfer and the famous group The Nits all led to memorable concerts.

Large nationwide theatre tours were made with Holland's most famous classical violinist Jaap van Zweden (Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story" and "The Cole Porter Story") and with piano-player Daniël Wayenberg ("The Gershwin Story").

In 1998 the quartet performed together with the Dutch Chamber Choir in the opera "Gershwin in Blue", written by composer Chiel Meijering and scriptwriter Lodewijk de Boer. The latest project of the ASQ was a tour called "It don't mean a thing," with percussionist Han Bennink. Early compositions by Duke Ellington came alive again by the enthusiasm of these five musicians. The recordings for a new CD have been completed.

Beside performing, the Amsterdam Saxophone Quartet also attaches much importance to education. The four members all teach at music schools and Superior Schools of Music. One of the highlights every season is a trip to Portugal, where the ASQ gives masterclasses and concerts in Oporto, Aveiro and surroundings. During this yearly event teaching and performing are perfectly in balance, the ideal of the ASQ.

By their audience and the Dutch newspapers the Amsterdam Saxophone Quartet is unanimously appreciated for their impressive skill, enormous enthusiasm and their always surprising choice for soloists and Repertoire.
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