The Curtis Project

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Music for Saxophones from the Curtis Institute

Short Stories (1996) by Jennifer Higdon (b. 1962)
Josquin Microludes (2012) by David Ludwig (b. 1974)
The Dniester Flow (2012) by Kat Souponetsky (b. 1988)
Blossoming (2012) by Daniel Temkin (b. 1986)
Spring/Neap (2012) by Gabriella Smith (b. 1991)
Toccata (2012) by Thomas Oltarzewski (b. 1988)
Four Miniatures (2012) by Tim Woos (b. 1992)

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In 2012, the PRISM Quartet conducted a residency with the composition department of the acclaimed Curtis Institute of Music, the first by saxophonists in the conservatory’s nearly 100-year history. The residency culminated in world premiere performances of “Josquin Microludes” by David Ludwig, a member of Curtis’ composition faculty and Dean of Artistic Programs, and new works by five gifted students, all of whom have since graduated and are emerging as significant voices in contemporary music. The program also featured “Short Stories” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, a Curtis graduate who joined the faculty in 1994.

This recording documents all seven works, and is a testament to the Curtis Institute’s standing as an international center for the study of composition. All of the composers represented on this album have distinct voices that in some way embrace elements of invention and lyricism—an aesthetic that dates back to Curtis’ founding in 1924, and to the music of one of its earliest and most distinguished alumni, Samuel Barber.

The Curtis Project is the first release of PRISM’s label, XAS Records, founded to advance the Quartet’s mission to share extraordinary saxophone music with listeners around the world.

The Curtis Project was made possible with generous support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia.


Record Label / Catalogue Number:
XAS Records/101

Release Date:
April 29, 2016