Formed in 2014 among graduate students at the Eastman
School of Music, East End presents concerts described as “deep and powerful, sweet and high, fast and madcap” (SILive).
East End is rapidly gaining recognition for its unique approach
to programming, which features close collaboration with composers, in-house arrangements, and an eclectic range of their own transcriptions for the saxophone quartet. Collectively, the ensemble has premiered over forty works by prominent composers
including Michael Djupstrom, Ken Thomson, Samuel Adler,
Ted Goldman, Steven Bryant, Robert Morris, Izumi Matsumoto, and Yukiko Yoshino. Its members have performed in Austria,
the Czech Republic, England, France, Italy, Japan, and Mexico, and East End was featured in the award-winning Staten Island
chamber music series, Serenade, last November. Most recently, they performed as guest artists for the 2015 Central Michigan University Saxophone Day.
In March of 2015, East End took first prize at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Chamber Music Competition. Held in Las Vegas, Nevada, this was the third and final round of a competition that began with over one hundred and twenty ensemble entrants from institutions across the country. Collectively, the members of East End have garnered top prizes from numerous national and international competitions, including the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Collegiate Solo and Chamber Competitions, and the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition. This year, East End Quartet will receive the Eastman School of Music’s Celentano Award for Excellence in Chamber Music.
Drawing inspiration from their leadership roles in the groundbreaking Eastman Saxophone Project (ESP), East End performs almost exclusively from memory. Their approach engenders a closer connection to the music they present while facilitating a deeper level of communication with the audience and one another. As firm believers in offering a balanced and diverse concert experience, they work collaboratively to arrange repertoire written for other instruments and, in many instances, before the saxophone was invented. By programming pieces from a variety of historical eras, East End provides concerts that are eclectic, engaging, and representative of diverse musical styles.
Today, the ensemble devotes much of its time to expanding the repertoire available to saxophonists. East End is committed to the beneficial experience of collaborating with living composers, and they are constantly working to commission and premiere new
works as they broaden the saxophone quartet repertoire. Their debut album will feature new works by award-winning composers
Michael Djupstrom and Jon Russell, and is set to release in 2017.