Sunday, February 11, 2018 @ 3:00pm
in Westminster United Church
The Proteus Saxophone Quartet is redefining the traditional saxophone chamber music experience with their high energy, intense, and diverse performances. Named after the god of the sea, modular and versatile, the Proteus Quartet explores the numerous instrumental combinations of the saxophone family through the creation and performance of chamber music. Since forming in 2011 in Paris where they were each studying, these four Canadian saxophonists developed an immediate artistic bond and vision and upon their return, have committed themselves to presenting energetic, diverse, and beautiful concerts. The Proteus Saxophone Quartet has performed throughout Canada, France, and more recently, into the United States. Highlights of their performances include the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference in Chicago, the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, and Saskatoon’s Strata New Music Festival.
Without adhering to a singular aesthetic or stylistic genre, Proteus promotes collaboration with diverse guest artists in an attempt to advance new works for saxophone quartet. They are interested in working together with composers or performers throughout the creation process, currently having worked with composers Justin Boechler, John Celona, Robert Lemay, Denis Levaillant and Alex Loewen; as well performers/improvisers Mark DeJong, Sean Perrin and François Rossé.
As educators, Proteus has performed school concerts and university master classes as part of their ongoing commitment to work with and promote chamber music to students. Often changing saxophones or staging during concerts, they benefit from these pauses by speaking to and connecting with their audiences by explaining concepts, ideas and working relationships which contribute to the compositions and aimed at enhancing the concert experience.
Tommy Davis completed his Masters of Music from Université de Montréal under Jean-François Guay. His other teachers include Jean-Michel Goury in Paris and in Canada, Glen Gillis, William Street, Mark DeJong, and Jason Caslor. Holly De Caigny divides her time between Edmonton, where she is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance at the University of Alberta, and performing in Calgary. Her principal teachers include Julia Nolan, Jeremy Brown, and in Paris, Jean-Michel Goury. Mark Michalak, upon completion of his Masters of Music degree from the University of Calgary, now resides in that city. He studied with Jeremy Brown and further studies in Paris, were with Jean-Michel Goury. Michael Morimotocompleted his Masters of Music under Julia Nolan and continued his studies at the Conservatoire de Cergy-Pontoise with Jean-Yves Fourmeau. His other teachers include Vincent David, Marie-Bernadette Charrier, William Street and Po-Yuan Ku.
Proteus Quartet performs high energy concerts that illustrate the flexibility, diversity and dynamism of the saxophone through repertoire which includes classical saxophone quartets, Classical and Romantic music transcriptions, popular music and commissioned pieces. Originally a hybrid instrument whose purpose was to bridge the gap between the woodwind and brass families, Proteus strives to highlight this by performing from many styles, and feature the saxophone and its diverse personas. Proteus will include works from the classical saxophone canon, popular tunes, and transcriptions and arrangements of music written for other genres. By programming interesting and eclectic concerts, they aim to entertain and share with the public about the history of the saxophone and the saxophone quartet repertoire. Proteus Quartet’s programs are inspired by the saxophone’s capabilities and diversity, drawing from its early acceptance into popular and jazz music, as well as into the mainstream of the classical music genre.