Aurelia Saxophone Quartet
Johan van der Linden - soprano saxophone
Niels Bijl - alto saxophone
Arno Bornkamp - tenor saxophone
Willem van Merwijk - baritone saxophone
The hot Italian summer of 1982; four young Dutch saxophonists rehearsing in Via Aurelia in Rome; the beginning of a sensational, pioneering chamber-music ensemble: the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet.
Concerts throughout the world from Suntory Hall in Tokyo to the Gewandhaus in Leipzig – not to mention the little church in Marken-Binnen in the Dutch province of Noord-Holland and a municipal centre in Oristano, Sardinia which smelt of beer.
Radio and television performances from Washington, DC to Tirana, Albania. Broadcasts on the Emmeloord Patients’ Radio Network to TV Wolgograd.
Currently nine CDs to the group’s name, one of which won an Edison and international praise, setting a new standard for saxophone quartets the world over.
Collaboration with artists from all disciplines, including dance and theatre (Peter Drost, René Groothof), as well as a great many musicians: pianists Ivo Janssen and Juan Pablo Dobal, bandoneon players Gustavo Toker and Carel Kraaijenhof, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the Georgian women’s choir Mzetamze, the gamelan ensemble Multifoon, Slagwerkgroep Den Haag, the Japanese saxophone quartet Trouvère, the Hague Residentie Orchestra, the Limburg Symphony Orchestra and others.
Over seventy world premieres of works by ter Veldhuis, Goldstein, Keuris, Andriessen and many others. The group gives compositions the chance to grow and plays pieces frequently so that they are heard often.
Astounding and ambitious arrangements. String quartets by Ravel, Debussy and Shostakovich. The Art of Fugue, the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. Pushing boundaries for our one great love: the saxophone quartet.
Willem van Merwijk 2005 Muse Translations Josh Dillon
The 'Via Aurelia' is world renowned for its historical setting and elegance. Now it has also entered into musical history as the birthplace of the Dutch saxophone quartet that was founded there in 1982. On tour with the Dutch National Youth Orchestra, the four artists gave a number of impromptu concerts in the Eternal City. These were an instant hit with the Roman audiences. Back home in Holland, they decided to continue playing together and took their name from the place where it all began.
In the intervening years, the has performed in concert halls all over the world such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Gewandhaus zu Leipzig and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. They have given numerous concerts in Europe, Asia and North-America. Furthermore their performances on television and radio attract a growing international circle of critics and music lovers.
Original music for saxophone quartet - both traditional and contemporary works - form a mainstay for the ASQ and they have prompted several composers to write works for saxophone quartet. What makes their repertoire so extraordinary are their own adaptations of e.g. string quartets by Debussy and Ravel, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, The Art of the Fugue by J.S. Bach and several Piazzolla compositions.
The Quartet is also known for its remarkable collaborations with musicians from different musical worlds such as the Piazzolla project with bandoneonplayer Gustavo Toker and pianist Juan Pablo Dobal, concerts with the Percussion Ensemble The Hague, Gamelan orchestra Multifoon and the female Georgian vocal group Mzetamze. In 2000 the Aurelia’s formed a saxophone octet with their Japanese counterparts the Trouvère Saxophone Quartet to celebrate the 400 year relationship between Japan and the Netherlands.
Considered to be one of the leading saxophone quartets in the world, the four musicians of Aurelia are also members of the renowned Netherlands Wind Ensemble and regularly perform in orchestras such as the Royal (Amsterdam) Concertgebouw Orchestra.
The Aurelia Saxophone Quartet's recordings can be found on Etcetera, NM Classics, Vanguard Classics and Challenge Redords. In 1987 they made their first CD, featuring soprano saxophonist Johan van der Linden's arrangement of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Both van der Linden's arrangement and the quartet's performances have been crowned with prizes.
In 1997 the ASQ started a cooperation with Bergez Music Publishing. Many of their arrangements and a saxophone method are published here
*-10-01 Corrida en fuerte Apache.mp3
*-10-02 Muerte de Juan Tango.mp3
*-10-06 Toccata Rea.mp3
*-10-07 Milonga Loca.mp3
*-10-09 Testarudo Tango.mp3
*-10-10 Una memoria del Tango.mp3
*-10-12 Tormenta Tango.mp3
*-10-14 El tonto del pueblo.mp3
*-10-15 La muerte del Angel.mp3