In the hot Italian summer of 1982, four young Dutch saxophonists starting rehearsing in Via Aurelia in Rome, forming what would eventually become a truly sensational, pioneering chamber music ensemble — the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet. Since then, the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet has traveled the world, giving concerts from Suntory Hall in Tokyo to the Gewandhaus in Leipzig — not to mention the little church in Marken-Binnen in the Dutch province of Noord-Holland and a municipal centre in Oristano, Sardinia which smelt of beer! The quartet has also performed on radio and television in places ranging from Washington, DC to Tirana, Albania, on programs spanning the Emmeloord Patients’ Radio Network to TV Wolgograd.
During its impressive 25 years in existence, the quartet has contributed greatly to the saxophone repertoire with critical acclaim. The group currently has nine CDs to its name, one of which won the prestigious Edison award, garnering international praise and setting a new standard for saxophone quartets the world over. On many of these recordings, listeners can hear the quartet’s own astounding and ambitious arrangements of string quartets by Ravel, Debussy, and Shostakovich as well as Bach’s The Art of Fugue, and the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. As champions of new music, the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet has given more than seventy world premieres of works by ter Veldhuis, Goldstein, Keuris, Andriessen and many others. The quartet has established the unique reputation of giving compositions the chance to grow by performing pieces frequently so that they are heard often. Today, their work continues to expand — pushing boundaries for their one great love: the saxophone quartet.