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Musica Viva Australia Signum Saxophone Quartet & Kristian Winther
Four saxophonists lock eyes, no sheet music to distract them. They bend their knees with the flow of the music, and lift their fingers to snap with the beat.
These players capture the effortless cool of the Jets from West Side Story. And their arrangement of the Bernstein score is just one work from the Signum Saxophone Quartet’s ripper program.
Signum has achieved cult status on instruments scarcely found in the concert hall. The group champions composers living and lost while filling the world’s best venues.
This tour is Signum’s Australian debut, so we’re making a big deal of it. We’ve commissioned Sydney composer Jessica Wells to arrange Kurt Weill’s Violin Concerto – originally for violin and wind orchestra, and one of the more technically difficult works in the repertory – for the quartet and soloist, and we’ve secured Kristian Winther for the hero’s role.
With a meeting of top creative minds in a program spanning Bach to Gershwin, this tour will show you that the saxophone is one of the most surprising instruments in the concert hall.
BACH Italian Concerto, BWV 971 (1735, transcr. Tochio)
WEILL Violin Concerto, Op. 12 (1924, arr. Wells)*
GERSHWIN Three Preludes (1926, arr. Signum Saxophone Quartet)
BERNSTEIN Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (1960, arr. Dedenon)
CAMILO Caribe (1988, arr. Leitinger)
*Arrangement commissioned for Musica Viva Australia under the auspices of the Hildegard Project.
Signum Saxophone Quartet
BLAŽ KEMPERLE Soprano saxophone
AYRAPET ARAKELYAN Alto saxophone
ALAN LUŽAR Tenor saxophone
GUERINO BELLAROSA Baritone saxophone
KRISTIAN WINTHER Violin
About the Composer
Jessica Wells is a versatile composer, orchestrator and arranger for concerts, films, theatre and album recordings.
Since obtaining her Master of Music in Composition (Sydney Conservatorium) and Master of Arts in Screen Composition (AFTRS), her career has gone from strength to strength. Her business of fifteen years, Jigsaw Music, provides music preparation services for clients all over the country and overseas.
Jessica has orchestrated over seventy films, and wrote the theme music for ABC TV’s Q&A program – which makes her kids think she’s famous.
She was a 2017 Finalist in the APRA Art Music Awards, in the category of Instrumental Work of the Year for her piece Moon Fire for the National Carillon and electronic track.
From 2017–2020 she was the Musical Director of the APRA Screen Music Awards, and she is the current Vice President of the Music Arrangers’ Guild of Australia.
Jessica’s new arrangement of the Weill Violin Concerto will be premiered by Signum Saxophone Quartet and Kristian Winther on their national tour. This arrangement was commissioned for Musica Viva Australia under the auspices of the Hildegard Project.
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