Saxophone virtuosos to highlight NSU Sax Fest on March 15

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The Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University will host its annual SaxFest on Sunday March 15.

The event will include master classes for high school and collegiate saxophone players beginning at 11:30 a.m., a Legere Reed Clinic and Sax Choir reading session. The highlight will be a 4 p.m. recital featuring international acclaimed saxophonists Arno Bornkamp and Kenneth Tse accompanied by pianist Casey Dierlam. Admission to the recital is free and open to the public.

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Bornkamp is the archetype of the modern virtuoso, feeling equally at home in traditional and contemporary repertoire. Hailed as a lyrical musician with a great sense of performance, Bornkamp studied at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam and graduated in 1986 with the highest distinction. 

 He has won many awards, the Silver Laurel of the Concertgebouw and the Netherlands Music Prize among the most noteworthy. The latter enabled him to go abroad, studying in France and Japan with as well as working with noted composers.

 Since his 1982 solo debut in Rome, performing the “Concertino da camera” by Jacques Ibert, he has played more than 200 concerts with orchestras around the world, including the most important works from the saxophone repertoire in addition to new concerti written especially for him, such as the “Tallahatchie Concerto” by Jacob TV. Recently Bornkamp added three new works to his already large repertoire: “saxophone concerti” by Joey Roukens and Carlos Michans and the “Trois danses” (orig. for oboe) by Frank Martin. This fits perfectly into Bornkamp’s ambassadorship for new music: throughout his whole career he has collaborated with composers such as Martijn Padding, Christian Lauba, Peter van Onna, Otto Ketting, Louis Andriessen, Jacob ter Veldhuis, Simon Burgers, Wijnand van Klaveren, Perry Goldstein and many others.

Widely recognized as one of the world’s leading classical saxophonists, Tse is certainly one of the instrument’s outstanding proponents on any saxophone aficionado’s short list. 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. These are but two of the multitude of awards that Tse has garnered in less than a decade and a half.

Since then 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 among others. He is frequent featured soloist at events such as the triennial World Saxophone Congress and North American Saxophone Alliance conferences. He 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.

Dierlam, an enthusiastic performer of contemporary music, is devoted to promoting the music of innovative composers through solo and collaborative endeavours. As a collaborative pianist, she performed with guest artist Claude Delangle (Paris Conservatoire) at the University of Illinois and gave premières of three works for bass and piano at the International Society for Bassists Convention. She served as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame, and held a faculty appointment at Knox College.