Loading Events

Chamber Music Sedona is proud to present the final concert of its 41st season with “Star of the Saxophone” on Sunday, April 28, 2024, at 3 p.m. at the Sedona Performing Arts Center. Performed by the versatile and charismatic saxophonist Steven Banks and brilliant pianist Xak Bjerken, the concert will feature a program that combines classical works with arrangements and original compositions. In celebration of the season finale, “Star of the Saxophone” will be preceded by a spring salon featuring pianist Adam Golka on Tuesday, April 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the intimate setting of a private home.

Considered a fast-rising star in the classical music world, Steven Banks has been recognized for his warm tone, expressive musicality and technical prowess. His many achievements include earning the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2022 and being the first saxophonist awarded First Prize at the Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions. Banks has performed with numerous renowned orchestras and conductors, and has appeared in recital across the U.S. As a composer, Banks has received commissions from esteemed organizations, and his music has been praised for its unique blend of sounds and feelings. An advocate for diversity and inclusion in music education and performance, Banks has been active in several transformational initiatives, including the TEDx NorthwesternU 2017 conference, where he presented his dynamic approach to overcoming institutionalized prejudices.

Steven Banks often appears alongside his collaborative partner, pianist Xak Bjerken, who will be joining him onstage at “Star of the Saxophone.” Bjerken has performed with renowned orchestras worldwide, including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and for many years performed throughout the U.S. as a member of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet. He is the director of Ensemble X, a new music ensemble at Cornell University, where he serves as a Professor of Music. Since releasing his first solo recording on CRI in 2001, Bjerken has recorded for several different labels, including a 2021 recording released by Naxos in which he premiered piano concertos by Stephen Hartke, Elizabeth Ogonek and Jesse Jones.

At the spring salon on April 23, dynamic pianist Adam Golka will return to Sedona for a recital of gorgeous solo piano works. Golka has regularly appeared on the concert stage since age 16, when he won first prize at the 2nd China Shanghai International Piano Competition. In more recent years, he has performed recitals for Philip Lorenz International Keyboard Concerts and Mesa Arts Center; Fazil Say’s “Silk Road” Concerto paired with de Falla’s “Nights in the Garden of Spain” with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra; and Tchaikovsky 1 with Daniel Meyer and the Erie Philharmonic. Golka also participated in Chamber Music Sedona’s Spring Festival in 2021, which celebrated the return of concerts after the pandemic.

“Star of the Saxophone” and the preceding spring salon will surely provide an exhilarating conclusion to Chamber Music Sedona’s 41st season. For more information about the concert and to purchase tickets, visit https://chambermusicsedona.org/2024-star-of-the-saxophone-steven-banks-and-xak-bjerken/. To learn more about the salon, visit https://chambermusicsedona.org/2024-spring-salon-adam-golka-in-recital/.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!