On October 21, 2016, Peter Witte made the following remarks in presenting the PRISM Quartet with the newly established Christopher Kendall Award. The Award honors the tenure of Emeritus Dean Christopher Kendall by recognizing one alumnus/a or an ensemble of alumni of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance from any graduation year who has demonstrated collaboration and/or entrepreneurship and/or significant community engagement and/or interdisciplinary studies and/or patronage to the arts in their professional work.
By CORINNA da FONSECA-WOLLHEIM JUNE 14, 2016 “… In two concerts last week at Roulette in Brooklyn, the Prism Quartet, a saxophone ensemble, produced an intriguing palette of sounds that included tone colors never heard before.” Read the full review here.
"the saxophones sing out long, doleful tunes, or gurgle softly and sympathetically while the chorus intones Traherne’s words in ravishing but ethereal timbres."
The PRISM Quartet returns to its musical birthplace for a concert benefiting the ensemble’s Southeast Michigan Residency Program. The concert features music by two composers with Michigan roots: the late William Albright, a longtime University of Michigan faculty member whose seminal work, Fantasy Etudes, was commissioned by PRISM in 1992; and current Michigan State University faculty member David Biedenbender, whose contribution to the program, “Lullaby” (2014), comes from a larger work-in-progress titled Cerulean. The program includes additional works by Anna Weesner, Martin Bresnick, and Georg Friedrich Haas.
PRISM to appear in Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser, a new opera composed by Lisa Bielawa
In May, the PRISM Quartet joined forces with the PARTCH ensemble, and a wonderful cast of singers to tape an episode of Lisa Bielawa's new television opera, Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser.
First-ever collaborations between the PRISM Quartet, Sō Percussion, and PARTCH (East Coast Debut, and one of three groups in the world that play Harry Partch instruments), featuring premieres of new works by Steven Mackey, Ken Ueno, and Stratis Minakakis. Plus groundbreaking music by Donnacha Dennehy, Kati Agócs, Georg Friedrich Haas, Steve Lehman, Iannis Xenakis, Bryce Dessner, and Harry Partch. Co-presented in Philadelphia by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Presented in Brooklyn at Roulette.
In March 2016, the PRISM Quartet concertizes in Philadelphia, New York City, and Ann Arbor with programs that feature guest appearances by piano virtuoso Marilyn Nonken, and jazz saxophone greats Diego Rivera and Andrew Bishop. The programs include world premieres of 15 new works by a stunning line-up of composers, including James Primosch, Anna Weesner, Jay Reise, Kyle Bartlett, Ben Hjertmann, and William Bolcom.
PRISM is greatly honored to receive the Christopher Kendall Award from our alma mater. The award recognizes one alumnus/a or an ensemble of alumni of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance who has demonstrated collaboration, entrepreneurship, significant community engagement, interdisciplinary studies and/or patronage to the arts in their professional work.
"One of the best things about PRISM Quartet's 2015 double-CD set is its implicit promise of a second volume—which shouldn't dissuade anyone from checking out the fulsome pleasures of this indispensable first."
Matt Mendez wrote a fascinating article for NewMusicBox on PRISM and the rich history of saxophone quartets. An absolute must-read for anyone interested in our ever-evolving medium. Read it here.