Whittier College News Release
Office of Public Relations
13406 Philadelphia St.
P.O. Box 634
Whittier, CA 90608-0634
Media Contact: 562.907.4974
NEW “ART OF FUGUE” WORK PREMIERES
Whittier, CA (March 8, 2005)—The New Century Saxophone Quartet will play
“The Art of The Fugue” –a Fantasia-like visual and musical concert of Johann
Sebastian Bach’s fugues on saxophone—on March 22 at 8:00 p.m. in the Ruth B.
Shannon Center for the Performing Arts, located on the Whittier College campus.
Featured on the program will be the world-premiere of a piece commissioned by
the Friends of the Shannon Center. This event is open to the public; tickets are
$25.00 general and may be purchased by calling the Shannon Center Box Office,
The only ensemble of its kind to ever win First Prize at the Concert Artists
Guild Competition, the New Century Saxophone Quartet (NCSQ) is a pioneering and
versatile group that offers a diverse repertoire ranging from Baroque to
innovative contemporary works to imaginative transcriptions. Featuring musicians
Michael Stephenson on soprano sax, Connie Frigo on baritone sax, Stephen Pollock
on tenor sax, and Chris Hemingway on alto sax, NCSQ has earned international
acclaim and earned grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, The Aaron
Copland Recording Fund, Chamber Music America, and the North Carolina Arts
Over the course of ten years, the group has released six CDs of their work for
Channel Classics to critical praise, including their latest, “The Art of Fugue,"
released in early 2004. The group continues their work on the “Bach Project,” a
production of live concerts of Bach’s final unfinished work with animations
concurrently projected on stage. Misha Films, a leading design and
animation house, has partnered with the quartet to create the films, which are
based on original designs combined with interpretations of artists’ creations in
various media. The premiere performances of the first set of animations took
place in early 2004 to a limited audience. The Whittier College Friends of the
Shannon Center have commissioned one of these animations, and the world premiere
of that piece will occur live at the March 22 performance.
In addition to playing two command performances for the White House, NCSQ has
appeared on television and radio across the United States, Europe, Panama, and
in the Netherlands, and has played in several international major music venues.
The group played a special concerto performance with the United States Naval
Band, and, in 1998, participated in a special television performance for the
Chinese New Year that was broadcast live to over 100 million people world wide.
In 2000, NCSQ premiered “New Century Suite,” a concerto for saxophone quartet
and orchestra by Peter Schickele with the North Carolina Symphony, and its
performance of the concerto with the Canton (OH) Symphony was featured twice on
National Public Radio's "Performance Today."
For more information on the New Century Saxophone Quartet, please visit online
The Ruth B. Shannon Center is located at the northeast corner of Painter Ave.
and Philadelphia St. on the Whittier College campus. For directions or
information about series subscriptions, please contact the Box Office, (562)
Founded by Quakers in 1887, Whittier College is an independent, four-year
college offering a traditional liberal arts program integrated with both
professional and pre-professional courses of study. With an emphasis on
diversity, community, and curricular innovation, the College’s primary mission
is to endow students with the education, skills, and values appropriate for
global leadership and service.
Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is
a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate
campus in Orange County.