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Arts At Noon Series: Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet

GVSU Saxophone Professor Dan Graser, Joe Girard, Danny Hawthorne-Foss, Zach Stern

GVSU Saxophone Professor Dan Graser, Joe Girard, Danny Hawthorne-Foss, Zach Stern

Date and Time

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
12:00 p.m.


  • Cook-DeWitt Center » Cook-DeWitt Center Auditorium


a tight-knit ensemble exploding with power and virtuosity and an un-concealable ambition to connect with its newly found listeners Boston Musical Intelligencer

The Sinta plays with astonishing virtuosity, subtly beautiful phrasing and exquisite ensemble no matter how rhythmically complex the music isPalm Beach Daily News

Individual virtuosity combines with a joy for shared music-making each time they take the stage. This quartet has proven to be  a remarkable voice for the contemporary composer. I consider them to be a genuine "benchmark changer. Audiences are immediately struck by their energy, passion, and love of sharing their individual talents as a single voice. They need to be heard!  University of Michigan Saxophone Professor Emeritus, Donald Sinta

The Donald Sinta Quartet, First Prize Winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, has earned praise from audiences and critics alike for its virtuosic performances, compelling recordings and distinctive repertoire.  Hailed as “…a tight-knit ensemble exploding with power and virtuosity and an un-concealable ambition to connect with its newly found listeners” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), the DSQ performs entirely from memory, which strengthens an already palpable connection with its audiences.  Named for its mentor, legendary University of Michigan Saxophone Professor Donald Sinta, the quartet’s additional competition successes include First Prize at the 2017 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, the Alice Coleman Grand Prize at the 2013 Coleman Chamber Music Competition and First Prize in the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition.

Recent career highlights include DSQ’s New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall, Purdue University Convocations, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Chautauqua Institution, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, and in Michigan at the Great Lakes Music Festival the Detroit Institute of Arts.  Among the ensemble’s extensive educational outreach activities, they recently enjoyed extended residencies for Joplin Pro Musica (MO) and Anchorage Concert Association, both culminating with performances as part of their season series.

Featured international appearances include recitals in Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Strasbourg, France (for the 17th World Saxophone Congress); St. Andrews, Scotland (as part of the 16th World Saxophone Congress); Paris, France; Geneva and Montreux, Switzerland; and Thessaloniki, Greece; as well as a trip to Japan as one of a select group of ensembles chosen for the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.

The Donald Sinta Quartet’s repertoire spans centuries, ranging from commissions by today’s emerging composers to standards from the saxophone quartet literature to transcriptions by master composers such as Dvoák, Schubert and Shostakovich. As advocates of new music, the quartet runs the National Saxophone Quartet Composition Competition, which selects two new quartet works from up-and-coming composers each year.  Additionally, DSQ has commissioned and premiered works by David Biedenbender, Kyle Blaha, Matthew Browne, Patrick Harlin, Kristin Kuster, Marc Mellits, Roger Zare, and many others. The group has just recorded its debut CD, Collider, to be released in 2017 on CAG Records.

Founded and still based in Michigan, DSQ’s members are all Selmer-Paris Artists and perform exclusively on Selmer saxophones.

More information may be found at



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