Biography

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 the Alice Coleman Grand Prize at the 2013 Coleman Chamber Music Competition and First Prize in the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition.

The DSQ’s busy 2016-17 season includes performances nationwide, including a five-city tour of North Carolina, and concerts in Pittsburg, KS, Nantucket, MA, and Detroit, MI, among others.  Following their February 2016 guest appearance with the Reno Philharmonic performing William Bolcolm’s Concerto Grosso for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra plus music of Gershwin, the DSQ will be performing that program in Illinois with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra in March 2017.

In 2011, the DSQ gave the World Premiere of Bolcom’s own transcription of the Concerto Grosso with Concert Band, joining the University of Michigan Symphony Band for performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing and the Shanghai Conservatory. The quartet’s subsequent recording of the work garnered praise: Audiophile Audition declared them “superb musicians” and American Record Guide called it “the highlight of the album.” DSQ has also made radio appearances on New York’s WQXR and Interlochen Public Radio, and is featured frequently on American Public Media’s Performance Today.

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 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 is diverse, ranging from commissions by today’s emerging composers to standards from the saxophone quartet literature to transcriptions by master composers such as Dvorak, 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.  The group has just recorded its debut CD, to be released in 2017 on CAG Records.

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

Audio

David Kechley: Rush

Dvorak: String Quartet in F Major Op. 96, 'American Quartet', Molto vivace

Thierry Escaich: Tango Virtuoso

Gregory Wanamaker: Speed Metal Organum Blues (2004)

Glazunov: Saxophone Quartet in B Flat Major, Op. 109, Premiere Partie

Grieg: Holdberg Suite, Rigaudon (Allegro con brio)

David Maslanka: Recitation Book, Fanfare/Variations, Durch Adams Fall (excerpt)

Annike Socolofsky: Bulgarity (2013)

Roger Zare: LHC (2012), Continuum (excerpt)

William Bolcom: Concerto Grosso for Saxophone Quartet and Band (2011), Badiniere

Video

  • See video The Green Groves of Erin/The Flowers of Red Hill

    The Green Groves of Erin/The Flowers of Red Hill

  • See video  Gyorgy Ligeti Six Bagetelles

    Gyorgy Ligeti Six Bagetelles

  • See video  Marc Mellits Black for Saxophone Quartet

    Marc Mellits Black for Saxophone Quartet

Press

Repertoire

  • Programs

    Around the World in 80 Minutes

    Rush (2002) David Kechley (b. 1947)                                                                                           Quartettsatz in C minor (1820) Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
    Introductions et variations sur un Gabriel Pierne (1863-1937)
    Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet (1953) György Ligeti (1923-2006)/arr. DSQ
    Bulgarity (2013, commissioned by DSQ) Annika Socolofsky (b. 1990)
    -Intermission-
    Quatuor pour Saxophones op. 109 (1932) Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)
    Tango Virtuoso (1991) Thierry Escaich (b. 1965)
    Red Pine (2014; commissioned by DSQ) Kristin Kuster (b. 1973)
    Michael Nyman Suite Michael Nyman (b. 1944)
    Speed Metal Organum Blues (2004) Gregory Wanamaker (b. 1968)

    No Strings Attached

    Transcriptions by the DSQ from works originally written for String Quartet/Orchestra

    String Quartet op. 96 in F Major “American” (1893) Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
    Adagio from String Quartet, Op. 11 (1936) Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
    Allegro molto from String Quartet Op. 59, No. 3 Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
    -Intermission-
    String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110 (1960) Dmitri Shostakovich (1905-1975)
    Holberg Suite, Op. 40 (1884) Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)

    Then and Now

    Rush (2002) David Kechley (b. 1947)
    Quartettsatz in C minor (1820) Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
    Phantoms (2013, commissioned by DSQ) Natalie Moller (b. 1990)
    *Winner of 2013 DSQ Composition Competition
    Introductions et variations sur un Gabriel Pierne (1863-1937)
    Tango Virtuoso (1991) Thierry Escaich (b. 1965)
    -Intermission-
    String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110 (1960) Dmitri Shostakovich (1905-1975)
    Michael Nyman Suite Michael Nyman (b. 1944)Z4430 (2014) Roger Zare (b. 1985)
    *DSQ Commission