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Release: March 19, 1999

(NOTE TO EDITORS: The Vienna Saxophone Quartet's e-mail address is

Vienna Saxophone Quartet will make guest appearance at UI April 2

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Vienna Saxophone Quartet, an internationally renowned touring ensemble known for its performances of new music written specifically for the group, will give a free guest recital at the University of Iowa School of Music at 8 p.m. Friday, April 2 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Extending from the top to the bottom of the saxophone family, the quartet members are Mark Engebretson, soprano saxophone; Helene Einsiedl, alto saxophone; Thomas Schoen, tenor saxophone; and Sabine Zwick, baritone saxophone.

The Vienna Saxophone Ensemble was founded in Vienna, Austria, in 1987. The group has been dedicated to the performance of new works from the very beginning: the first thing the group did was to write every composer in Austria asking for a new piece -- an undertaking that for all practical purposes created the Austrian repertoire for saxophone quartet.

To date more than 55 works have been composed for and premiered by the quartet, primarily by Austrian composers. In recent years the quartet has aimed to work with composers of the highest artistic accomplishment and to expand its efforts to work with composers from other countries as well as Austrians. For example, in 1995 the group received a new work from Friedrich Cerha, an Austrian composer who is legendary in his home country for his place in the European avant-garde; and collaborated with American composer Steve Reich on an arrangement for saxophones of his "New York Counterpoint."

The Vienna Saxophone Quartet has toured throughout Europe, to Africa and the United States. In 1995 they established a base of operations in the United States with the aim of increasing the world-wide exposure and performances of the group.

Five works will be featured on the April 2 concert: "Night Light" by M. William Karlins; "UND (ohne und)" (AND without and) by Alexander Wagendristel; the Second Saxophone Quartet of Wolfram Wagner; "Tre Blitz" by Ennio Morricone; and "Frozen State of Song" by Lukas Ligeti.

The Vienna Saxophone Quartet appears at the UI with the support of the Bundeskanzleramt, Sektion fuer Kunstangelegenheiten (Austrian Ministry of Culture) and the Austrian Cultural Institute in New York.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at Visit the Vienna Saxophone Quartet home page at