This fall, the PRISM Quartet turned 33 years old. Way back in October 1984 at the University of Michigan, four students of the renowned saxophonist Donald Sinta decided to join forces and re-imagine the possibilities of their instrument. PRISM's creative work was (and is) a labor of love that has resulted in a great many commissions, recordings, collaborations, education and outreach programs, recital and concerto engagements, and our own critically-acclaimed concert series in Philadelphia, New York City, and Ann Arbor.
One of the most fulfilling parts of our work has been providing a platform for composers to develop a new and lasting repertoire for our medium, efforts that have yielded the first-ever saxophone quartets by some of the world's great composers, including William Albright, William Bolcom, Martin Bresnick, Chen Yi, Roshanne Etezady, Lee Hyla, Kristin Kuster, Steven Mackey, David Rakowski, Bernard Rands, Bright Sheng, Julia Wolfe, and Zhou Long. This year alone, PRISM presents first sax quartets by Susie Ibarra, Tyshawn Sorey, Elizabeth Hoffman, Chris Biggs, and Dan Trueman. And we're happy to announce a brand new commission from Nina C. Young, and the October 2018 premiere of The Anchoress, a major new song-cycle by David Ludwig and poet Katie Ford in which PRISM joins forces with soprano Hyunah Yu and Piffaro: The Renaissance Band.
We've also taken great pride in nurturing the development of emerging composers. Winners of past PRISM Quartet Young Composer Commissioning Awards, including Kati Agócs and Stratis Minakakis, have established themselves as vitally important voices in the field, and hold professorships at some of the nation's leading conservatories. We've collaborated with the Walden School for Young Composers for over 20 years, serving as artists-in residence and co-sponsoring an annual commissioning award for high school students. We've worked with dozens of schools and libraries across the nation in programs called Composition for Kids and Unlocking Your Inner Composer (for adults) to affirm everyone's ability to tell their own stories through music. And in the last few years, PRISM has developed an extensive residency program targeting university/conservatory composition departments that has generated dozens of new works by students at the Curtis Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Brandeis University, Western Michigan University, Rice University, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The cost of commissioning composers and disseminating their works through concerts and recordings is significant. With humility and thanks, we're asking you to support PRISM's efforts to champion music by composers at every stage of their careers. For a gift of $100 or more, we'll send you a personalized autographed PRISM CD (check availability at www.prismquartet.com). But regardless of the size of your gift, we are as grateful for your donation now as when we first launched the PRISM Quartet more than three decades ago with the support of so many friends. THANK YOU!
Matthew Levy, Zachary Shemon, Timothy McAllister, and Taimur Sullivan PRISM Quartet