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Arts & Entertainment WCU School of Music to hold saxophone concert

Saxophonist Ian Jeffress, accompanied by pianist Lillian Pearson, will present a recital as part of Western Carolina University’s Catamount Concert Series at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22.

The recital will kick off a year of celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Adolphe Sax, the Belgian instrument maker and inventor of the saxophone.

The program will feature a combination of new and historic works for saxophone, focusing on the instrument’s chameleonic character. The program will include Jerome Savari’s “Fantasy on Themes from Freischutz,” which borrows music from Carl Maria von Weber’s groundbreaking Romantic opera in one of the earliest examples of solo music for the saxophone, and Stephen Lias’s “Five Characters from David Copperfield,” which offers a modern, comical view of some of the most famous literary characters of the Victorian period.

Other works to be performed are Fernande Decruck’s “Sonata in C#,” Giacinto Scelsi’s “Tre Pezzi” and Barry Cockcroft’s “Ku Ku.”

A member of the WCU School of Music faculty, Jeffress is a saxophonist, music theorist and educator based in Asheville. He is the alto saxophonist for the award-winning Assembly Quartet and saxophonist for the Asheville Symphony, and has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and clinician throughout the United States and in the United Kingdom.

Jeffress has commissioned or premiered more than 20 new works by both emerging and established composers including Shih-Hui Chen and James Matheson. He maintains an active private studio of pre-college saxophonists in the Asheville area and is co-founder and artist-faculty of the Carolina Saxophone Camp.

The recital is open to the public free of charge. For more information, call the WCU School of Music at (828)227-7242.

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