The London Saxophone Quartet was formed in 1969. Although its members were trained as clarinettists, they had all made a speciality of orchestral saxophone playing for several years before forming the quartet. They found the medium to be both challenging and satisfying and following a London debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, they were soon giving recitals all over the country. Many of the composers of the Saxophone Quartet repertoire are not well known to British audiences, but an enormous repertoire of varied and interesting music exists. One of their most important achievements has been the creation of an entirely new British saxophone quartet repertoire consisting of many new works written especially for them.
This is the Society’s fiftieth concert. Peter Katin‘s career started in 1948 with a recital at London’s Wigmore Hall which was so acclaimed that within a very short time he was regarded as the finest pianist of the post-war generation. At that time, his greatest successes were in the more classical repertoire, Three years later his image changed almost overnight with a performance of Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto at the Henry Wood Promenade Concert. By 1968 he found he was drawn into the world of impressionism. He also embarked on a study of Chopin, of whose works he is now regarded as one of the finest interpreters.
When the Taskin Harpsichord Trio was formed in 1972 the number of groups using authentic instrumentation was very small. The explosion of interest since then in baroque music and common use of original instruments reflects the immense satisfaction to be gained from hearing the music played as the composer imagined it. In 1979 the Trio won a national competition for professional musicians promoted by the Incorporated Society of Musicians.
This young quartet was formed as recently as February 1979. They have played at St. John’s, Smith Square in London and were placed third in the Prague Spring International Festival String Quartet Competition. In September 1979 they were awarded the Leverhulme Scholarship to continue their studies at the Royal Academy of Music under Sidney Griller who speaks of them as having ‘a very bright future’.