Zagreb Saxophone Quartet

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The Zagreb Saxophone Quartet spent the week of Oct. 26-30 in residency at the University of Georgia as Willson Center Visiting Artists. The residency culminated in a performance on Saturday, Oct. 31, that began the 32nd season of the Franklin College Chamber Music Series.

Founded by graduates of the Zagreb Academy of Music in Zagreb, Crotia, 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 different 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 music school 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 spent the week at UGA working with individual students in the music school, coaching quartets and teaching master classes. The residency also included mini-concerts and open rehearsals for the Saturday performance.

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“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.