Swiss saxophonist and composer living in Greensboro NC, Laurent Estoppey devotes himself mostly to music and arts of today. In 2016, he was nominated for the Herb Alpert Music Awards.
Numerous collaborations with composers have led him to create at least 200 works and also to open him to the composition world. Now his musical activity is divided between written music and improvisation, occurring throughout Switzerland, many European countries, Canada, the United States, Russia, Argentina, Guatemala, and South Africa.
He works with many orchestras in Europe, many of which have been conducted – among others – by James Levine, Marek Janowski, Christian Zacharias, Kazuki Yamada, Neeme Järvi, Diego Matheuz, Heinz Holliger, Jonathan Nott, and Peter Eötvös.
Aside from having founded and developed numerous chamber music groups, Estoppey is a member an artistic director of Swiss ensemBle baBel and COLLAPSS (Collective for Happy Sounds – Music, dance, poetry, visual arts in Greensboro).
His improvisational collaborations involve meetings and concerts with musicians from all backgrounds such as Zkrabuj et chou et pâté (saxophone / percussion with Luc Müller), Polyorchard (Durham NC), and Cyanotype (Durham NC). Estoppey has also worked alongside many independent musicians such as Elliot Sharp, Anthony Coleman, Ikue Mori, Eugene Chadbourne, Nick Didkovsky, Jacques Demierre, and Pierre Favre.
His discography includes more than 20 recordings featured on Claves records (CH), Aussenraum Records (CH), Insubordinations (CH), Thödol (F), Out and Gone (US) and NOVA (US).
Estoppey is a professional composer for various settings and contexts, including concerts, performances, sound installation, and video art works.
His pieces have been commissioned by conservatories as well as private and public foundations in the United States, Canada, France, and Switzerland. His pieces have been performed in festivals and conferences such as SCL, SEAMUS, NASA and the World Saxophone Congress.
His work is divided between pushing the boundaries of saxophone technique, often related to live processed electronics, and pieces involving all sorts of different instruments.
Estoppey is a reference artist for Italian saxophone maker Rampone-Cazzani, is a D’Addario Performing artist, and a Rovner ambassador. laurentestoppey.com
"One of the highlights of the concert was Steve Stusek's haunting saxophone solo throughout the Old Castle." — Greensboro News and Record
Steve Stusek is Associate Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where he is a member of the Eastwind Reed Quintet and the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet. With these groups he has toured China, Germany, Canada, and much of the United States.
Originally from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, he received his Bachelor’s degree in saxophone performance from Indiana University. Before beginning a Master’s degree in saxophone and chamber music at Arizona State University, he spent a year in Paris studying at the Paris Conservatory (Conservatoire Nationale Superior de Musique de Paris) and the Conservatoire de le Région de Paris, where he was awarded the Prix d'Or à l'Unanimité in Saxophone Performance.
After living in the Netherlands for almost eight years he returned to Indiana University and was awarded a DMA in Saxophone in 2001. He has served on the faculties of Ball State University, Middlebury College, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and he was an Associate Instructor of saxophone at both Arizona State and Indiana University. He has been on the UNCG faculty since 1999.
As a soloist, Stusek has appeared with the Eastern Music Festival and more recently with the University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble as part of the North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference. He has been the principal saxophonist for the Eastern Music Festival and the Greensboro Symphony for the past ten years. In 2000, Stusek won the prestigious Dutch Chamber Music Competition as part of the saxophone-accordion duo 2Track with accordion virtuoso Otine van Erp. Subsequently they were given management for two years, performing widely throughout the Netherlands and on Dutch radio.
Stusek's newest projects are a duo program with Swiss saxophonist Laurent Estoppey which incorporates electronics, video, dance, poetry, and as many saxophones as they can get onstage in a seamless musical event, and the COLLAPPS Ensemble (Collective for Happy Sounds), dedicated to new and improvised music, dance, poetry, and video in unusual spaces.
Stusek’s teachers have included Eugene Rousseau, Joseph Wytko, David Baker, Larry Teal, Daniel Deffayet, Jean-Yves Formeau, and Leroy Wolter. Stusek is a Past-President of the North American Saxophone Alliance. He is a Yamaha and Vandoren performing artist. stevestusek.com
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PEDROIA STRING QUARTET
With an intense and beautiful blend of freshness and experience, the Pedroia String Quartet is bursting onto the Boston scene. To the unified and persuasive core of Peter Sulski and Rohan Gregory’s ten years of quartet playing together, add the power and fire of first violinist Jae Cosmos Lee and the consummate beauty and flexibility of cellist Jaques Lee Wood, and you have the Pedroia Quartet.
Sulski’s seven years in the London Symphony, Lee’s founding of “A Far Cry,” the most exciting new chamber orchestra in the United States, Wood’s solo appearances with orchestras in Seoul and Merkin Hall, Gregory’s tours to India, Thailand, and Brazil with famous world music groups: these comprise the ingredients that make up the complex and versatile playing of the Pedroia.
Having steeped themselves in the knowledge of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Tokyo, Vermeer, and Takacs Quartets, the Pedroia members have gone on to play as guests with the Borromeo, Jupiter, Audubon, and Alcan quartets, and members have founded, toured, and recorded with both the Arden and QX quartets. Sulski and Gregory, founders and ten-year members of QX, held a Clark University residency, recorded on Albany Records, and performed in Jordan and Mechanics Halls; to this core of experience add the dynamism of Wood and Lee, and Boston’s newest sound is heard: The Pedroia.