Artespanex S. L.
Calle Rambla de Méndez Núñez, 48, 1º D
Artistic Director: Francisco Martínez
Musical Director: Santiago Serrate
Production: Yaiza Oliva and Rosa Alonso
Year of foundation: 1987
Members: Francisco Herrero, Pilar Montejano, Miriam Castellanos and Francisco Martínez (saxophones); Maite Raga (flute); Salvador Salvador (clarinet); Emilio Robles (violin); Ángel García (cellist); Jaime Fernández (percussion); Duncan Gifford and Francisco Escoda (piano); Rafael Fernández (electroacustic music)
Year of foundation: 1987
The group Sax-Ensemble was created in 1987 with the purpose of enhancing the creation and dissemination of contemporary music. It is a flexible chamber ensemble basically integrated by flute, clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello, saxophone quartet, piano, percussion and electroacoustic music and when necessary counts with the participation of other wind instruments, string and voice in many of its performances. In its wide repertoire, together with traditional works, it mainly features scores of contemporary composers, both Spanish and foreign.
Its first public appearance took place in 1987 in the Blue Hall of Alicante Town Hall, in the opening concert of the II Encuentros Europeos del Saxofón, in the framework of the III Festival de Música Contemporánea de Alicante. Since then, of its performances worthy of mention are those completed in: Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid, Auditorio Nacional de Música, Teatro Monumental de Madrid, Teatro de la Zarzuela, Festival de Música Contemporánea de Alicante, Festival de Música del Siglo XX de Salamanca, Festival de Música Española de León, Jornadas de Música Contemporánea and Festival Internacional de Música y Danza in Granada, Palau de la Música and Festival Ensems in Valencia, Festivales de Sevilla, Segovia, Bilbao, Barcelona, Málaga, Almagro, Ávila, Cádiz, etc. In France: ‘Saxophonies de Angers’, Gap University, Conservatory of Paris, Georges Pompidou Centre and the Andre Malraux Centre of Bordeaux, Strasburg, etc. In Belgium: European Saxophone Day of Dinant, etc. In Italy: Teatro la Fenice of Venice, Celano, Ortona, Ferrara, Fermo, Milán, Turín, etc. In England: The London Contemporary Art Institute and the University of Surrey, etc. In Canada: Quebec University in Montreal. In the United States, Scotland, Thailand, Slovenia, Portugal, Austria, etc.
The composition and promotion of the music of our times, both for the initial structure of the group, which was non-existent until then (saxophone quartet, piano and percussion), like in many other groups with other instruments, with electroacoustic music, with orchestral groups and for the current structure with 14 players, has been the motor for the continuity of the group in these 29 years. In 1997 it was awarded with the Premio Nacional de Música de Interpretación, mainly due to its contribution to Spanish music in its ten years of life at that moment. Many composers have dedicated their music to the group that has made more than 160 world premieres of Spanish, European and American composers. At present, the discographic catalogue of Sax-Ensemble includes 17 albums, among which should be mentioned the first ‘monograph for saxophone works’ by authors like Edison Denisov or Zulema de la Cruz, together with other monographs by Tomás Marco, Cristóbal Halffter, Luis de Pablo, Carlos Cruz de Castro, Claudio Prieto, Eneko Vadillo, Jesús Villa Rojo, Enrique Muñoz, etc. Moreover, it has edited two monographic DVDs of the composers Tomás Marco and Luis de Pablo.
Currently, Sax-Ensemble consists of Francisco Herrero, Pilar Montejano, Miriam Castellanos and Francisco Martínez, (saxophones); Maite Raga (flute); Salvador Salvador (clarinet); Emilio Robles (violin); Ángel García (violoncello); Jaime Fernández (percussion); Duncan Gifford and Francisco Escoda (piano); and Rafael Fernández (electroacoustic music). All of them under the musical direction of Santiago Serrate and the artistic direction of Francisco Martínez. In 1993, this group created the Fundación Sax-Ensemble thanks to the support and decision of a group of composers, musicians and music lovers aimed at inspiring commissions to Spanish and foreign composers and educational activities of a high level.