Members of the Red Line Saxophone Quartet are, from left: Brandon Kies, Douglas O’Connor, Gao Qun, and Quinn Lewis. Photo by Gerry Szymanski.
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For the second time in less than two months, the Red Line Saxophone Quartet has taken home a top honor from a major national chamber music competition.
The ensemble of Eastman musicians was awarded a Gold Medal in the senior wind division of the 2009 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, which was held May 8 to 10 at the University of Notre Dame. Red Line, which includes juniors Brandon Kies, alto sax, Gai Qun, tenor sax, and Quinn Lewis, baritone sax, and doctoral student Douglas O’Connor, soprano sax, won $3,000 for their first-place performance.
Now in its 36th year, the Fischoff Competition is the largest chamber music competition in the world and attracts the finest young instrumentalists from around the globe.
The competition includes a junior division for musicians under the age of 18 and a senior division; the senior division includes wind and string categories. This year, 48 ensembles from 14 countries were selected for the competition’s live auditions in May based on submitted DVD audition recordings.
Red Line Saxophone Quartet’s repertoire for the competition included “Ave verum corpus,” a motet by 16th century composer William Byrd, which was arranged by O’Connor; and three 20th century works: “Back Burner” by Frank Ticheli; “Recitation Book” by David Maslanka; and “Quatuor,” by Ida Gotkovsky.
In late March, the Red Line Saxophone Quartet won first prize in the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition. The group will be recording their its first CD this month. Members of the ensemble are from the saxophone studios of Eastman School professor Chien-Kwan Lin and Ramon Ricker.
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