Spectrum Group Biography

photo of the Spectrum Saxophone Quartet

The SPECTRUM Saxophone Quartet is a pioneering ensemble dedicated to exploring the entire array of musical colors available to the saxophone. This unique and fascinating group is the only quartet in the world to regularly perform on the entire saxophone family from the tiny sopranino to the majestic seven-foot tall contrabass. This expanded instrumentation gives them an astonishing seven-octave range, and an unforgettable visual impact.

SPECTRUM brings to their audiences entertaining programs of thought-provoking and exciting sounds that are both familiar and new. Devoted to the advancement of the saxophone family and its repertoire, SPECTRUM has commissioned and premiered numerous compositions in many genres, and has championed in particular the works of American composers. While the saxophone quartet was initially patterned after a string quartet, this ensemble far surpasses its 19th-century model in versatility; a wider range of styles is available to it than any other type of chamber ensemble. SPECTRUM's concert programs include classical quartet repertoire from the 16th through 21st-centuries, jazz of every era and style, improvised compositions, folk music from around the world, and entertaining programs designed to introduce children to classical and jazz music.

The members of SPECTRUM, each artists in their own right, have diverse areas of musical focus, yet they have each brought something unique and special to contribute to the cohesiveness of this incredibly flexible group. Since every member of SPECTRUM is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, the ensemble is not limited to the standard quartet format of soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone. In addition to the traditional four instruments, SPECTRUM has extended its palette through the use of rare and unusual saxophones including sopranino, mezzo-soprano, bass, and the gargantuan contrabass. The SPECTRUM Quartet has received residency grants at San Diego State University, and was a finalist in the prestigious 1999 Coleman Chamber Music Competition.

SPECTRUM is a member ensemble of Chamber Music America, has toured locally and internationally, and continues to break new musical ground as they help forge the chamber music repertoire of the 21st Century.