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Release: Oct. 1, 1999

Saxophone Quartet from Croatia will perform and present a master class at UI Oct. 18

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Zagreb Saxophone Quartet from Croatia will be guests of the University of Iowa School of Music, presenting a free public recital at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Joining them for one piece will be saxophonist Matt Sintchak, a member of the UI School of Music faculty.

The same day as their concert, the quartet will present a master class, featuring performances by student saxophone groups from the School of Music, at noon in the Voxman Music Building. The master class will also be open to the public free of charge.

Since their debut in 1989, the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet has reached a growing audience in Eastern Europe and around the world. Playing a repertoire that ranges from Baroque transcriptions to premieres of new works by Croatian composers, they have played and received critical acclaim in Austria, France, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey, Slovenia, Spain and the United States.

In Erlangen, Germany, the local critic wrote: "The Zagreb Saxophone Quartet offered a memorable and daring concert . . . the interpreters have deserved great recognition for their effort and willingness to take risks," and a critic in Ljubljana, Slovenia, reported, "The sound palette of the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet is extremely rich, marked by pure and beautiful shades."

For their concert at the UI, the quartet will play five works: the Quartet for Saxophones, op. 102, by Florent Schmitt; "Cantus Fractalus" by Srcan Dedic; "S.A.X." for solo alto saxophone and saxophone quartet by Frederick Fox; "Kaskade" by Miklo Lazar; and an arrangement for saxophones of Mozart's String Quartet in E-flat, K. 428.

All four members of the Zagreb Quartet -- Dragan Sremec, soprano sax; Goran Mercep, alto; Sasa Nestorovic, tenor; and Matjaz Drevensek, baritone -- are graduates of the Zagreb Academy of Music. In addition to their work with the quartet, they are all active in Croatia both as performers and as teachers.

An avid performer of contemporary music, Sintchak has also given traditional solo recitals across the United States and performed with the Hartford and Portland symphonies and the Rochester Philharmonic, and with the Eastman Wind Ensemble on two tours to Japan. Sintchak has studied at Boston University, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and the Paris Conservatory in France. He recently completed his doctorate in saxophone performance with a Performer's Certificate from Eastman.

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