SaxFest to be held Jan. 27

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The Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University will host the annual SaxFest Saturday, Jan. 27 in Magale Recital Hall.

The guest artist for the event is Kenneth Tse of the University of Iowa. Tse will be part of a 6 p.m. recital with the Sax Choir. Admission is free and open to the public.

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SaxFest begins with a collegiate master class at noon followed by a 1:30 p.m. high school master class and Sax Choir rehearsal at 2:45 p.m.

Tse is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading classical saxophonists. He burst on the scene in 1996 as the winner of the prestigious New York Artists International Award, which resulted in an acclaimed debut recital at Carnegie Hall, after which he was hailed as “a young virtuoso” by the New York Times. The Alex Award from the National Alliance for Excellence led to another Carnegie Hall performance. He has been a frequent soloist on five continents, including solo appearances with the Des Moines Symphony, United States Navy Band, Slovenia Army Band, La Armónica Band of Bunol, Spain, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

He is frequent featured soloist at events such as the triennial World Saxophone Congress and North American Saxophone Alliance conferences. Tse has also been a guest clinician at conferences hosted by the California Band Directors’ Association, Iowa Bandmaster’s Association, and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinics. Prestigious universities and conservatories worldwide, such as Sydney Conservatory, Moscow Conservatory and Paris Conservatory have invited him to give master classes.  He was recently a judge, representing the U.S., at the Sixth Adolphe Sax International Competition in Dinant, Belgium.

Tse has been an active recording artist since his first CD for Crystal Records at age 23. There are now a total of six Crystal CDs—presenting a wide variety of saxophone repertoire, most of it new, some with assisting artists—as well as other releases on varies labels.

As an advocate for new music, Tse has had more than 30 works dedicated to him and more in progress by many notable American composers as well as international composers in Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Russia, Spain, Canada, Australia and Belgium. Tse has recorded and premiered many of these concertos, sonatas, solo works and chamber pieces. His own arrangements for the saxophone are published by Reed Music, Australia, and his articles and interviews have been featured in the Saxophone Journal, The Instrumentalist, Fanfare Magazine, Saxophone Symposium, Iowa Bandmaster Association Journal, Japan’s Piper and The Sax Magazines and Yamaha Education Series. Desiring to give back to his home city, Hong Kong, Tse has also founded in 2009 the biennial Hong Kong International Saxophone Symposium, which connects saxophonists from Asia and Oceania with world-class saxophone performers and teachers in a week-long event.