Applauded for their “flat-out amazing” performances and “stunning virtuosity”, the highly acclaimed Kenari Quartet is known for delivering inspired performances, from classical to contemporary, that transform the perception of the saxophone. The group travels to Maine this fall to perform on the historic Boothbay Harbor Opera House stage on Friday, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
The quartet aims to highlight the saxophone’s remarkable versatility by presenting meticulously crafted repertoire from all periods of classical and contemporary music. Members include Bob Eason, hailed by Fanfare magazine for his “exceptional feel for elegance, wit… and tonal beauty,” Kyle Baldwin, Corey Dundee and Steven Banks. The group has earned top prizes at the M-Prize, Fischoff, J.C. Arriaga, Plowman, Chesapeake Bay International, and Coleman Chamber Music Competitions.
The Kenari Quartet has found a home performing on many of the premiere chamber music series in the United States. Recent engagements include appearances at Chamber Music Northwest, the Grand Teton Music Festival, and Chamber Music Tulsa, among others. For many chamber music institutions, the Kenari Quartet has been proud to serve as the first ensemble of its kind to be presented.
As a testament to the flexibility of the saxophone quartet, the Kenari was recently a featured artist in Baldwin Wallace Conservatory’s 86th Annual Bach Festival. Here, they collaborated with faculty, student musicians, and academics to present an unprecedented residency centering around the influence of J.S. Bach on the late composer David Maslanka, as well as improvisation throughout musical history.
In 2016, the quartet released their debut album—titled French Saxophone Quartets—on the Naxos Records label. This recording project features early masterworks for saxophone quartet by French composers Eugéne Bozza, Alfred Desenclos, Pierre Max Dubois, Jean Françaix, Gabriel Pierné, and Florent Schmitt. The Kenari Quartet also appears on David Deboor Canfield’s 2018 album, Saxophone Music, Vol. II, with their performance of Canfield’s Opus Pocus, a delightful and witty work that depicts wondrous magicians and illusionists such as Merlin and Houdini.
Formed in 2012 at Indiana University, the quartet’s name is derived from the Malay word “kenari”, which may be translated as “songbird.” Expanding on the age-old idea that birds communicate through song, the Kenari Quartet seeks to exemplify this concept through concert hall performances. By not only connecting with their audiences via song, but also through physical movement, Kenari amplifies the standard concert experience with their striking visual communication and powerful stage presence.
Advance discounted tickets available at the Opera House box office at 86 Townsend Ave. or by calling 633-5519. Advance tickets are $20. Regular tickets are $25 and available online at boothbayoperahouse.com and day of performance. Doors for seating open at 7 p.m.