The Prism Quartet
And when you want a sax quartet, the one you want is the Prism Quartet. Now in its twentieth season, the Prism has been performing together longer than any other saxophone quartet in the world. The members' virtuosity is buffed and burnished, and their enthusiasm has gotten only more exuberant. Matthew Levy, Timothy McAllister, Taimur Sullivan, and Michael Whitcombe have played together so long that they have achieved the kind of effortless ensemble and telepathic understanding that characterizes the best instrumental ensembles in any genre.
The only real problem that faces the Prism and every other saxophone quartet, for that matter is repertoire. Invented relatively recently, in 1846, Adolphe Sax's instruments have no long and illustrious body of works to draw on, but must rely extensively on new compositions.
Of course, having to rely on new compositions is no real problem when new composers are dying for the opportunity to write for performers who they know will program their works. At Kerrytown Concert House on Saturday, November 6, the Prism will be performing works by three Ann Arbor composers Andrew Mead, William Bolcom, and the late William Albright as well as a chamber version of a work by Steven Mackey. The oldest work on the program is Albright's graceful Fantasy Etudes from 1993-94; the most recent is Mackey's Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, which will be receiving its world premiere.