The Donald Sinta Quartet, First Prize Winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, has earned praise from audiences and critics alike for its virtuosic performances, compelling recordings and distinctive repertoire. Hailed as “…a tight-knit ensemble exploding with power and virtuosity and an un-concealable ambition to connect with its newly found listeners” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), the DSQ performs entirely from memory, which strengthens an already palpable connection with its audiences. Named for its mentor, legendary University of Michigan Saxophone Professor Donald Sinta, the quartet’s additional competition successes include a Gold Medal at the 2018 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, First Prize at the 2017 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, the Alice Coleman Grand Prize at the 2013 Coleman Chamber Music Competition and First Prize in the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition.
Select highlights of the DSQ’s busy 2018-19 schedule include: The Fischoff Gold Medal tour throughout the Midwest in September, a concerto performance and residency at Grand Valley State University, a return to the Trust Performing Arts Center in Lancaster, and recitals in Canada for the Virtuosi Concerts in Winnipeg and Cecilian Chamber Series in Regina.
In 2011, the DSQ gave the World Premiere of Bolcom’s own transcription of the Concerto Grosso with Concert Band, joining the University of Michigan Symphony Band for performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, and the Shanghai Conservatory. The quartet’s subsequent recording of the work garnered praise: Audiophile Audition declared them “superb musicians” and American Record Guide called it “the highlight of the album.” DSQ has also made radio appearances on New York’s WQXR and Interlochen Public Radio, and is featured frequently on American Public Media’s Performance Today.
Recent career highlights include DSQ’s New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall, Purdue University Convocations, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Chautauqua Institution, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, and in Michigan at the Great Lakes Music Festival the Detroit Institute of Arts. Among the ensemble’s extensive educational outreach activities, they recently enjoyed extended residencies for Joplin Pro Musica (MO) and Anchorage Concert Association, both culminating with performances as part of their season series.
Featured international appearances include recitals in Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Strasbourg, France (for the 17th World Saxophone Congress); St. Andrews, Scotland (as part of the 16th World Saxophone Congress); Paris, France; Geneva and Montreux, Switzerland; and Thessaloniki, Greece; as well as a trip to Japan as one of a select group of ensembles chosen for the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.
Equally committed to education and community engagement, the quartet has presented clinics and performances at numerous colleges and universities including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Massachussetts at Amherst, SUNY-Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, and many others, as well as a residency at Grand Valley State University. DSQ has also presented workshops and performances at dozens of public schools across the US.
The Donald Sinta Quartet’s repertoire spans centuries, ranging from commissions by today’s emerging composers to standards from the saxophone quartet literature to transcriptions by master composers such as Dvořák, Schubert and Shostakovich. As advocates of new music, the quartet runs the National Saxophone Quartet Composition Competition, which selects two new quartet works from up-and-coming composers each year. Additionally, DSQ has commissioned and premiered works by David Biedenbender, Kyle Blaha, Matthew Browne, Patrick Harlin, Kristin Kuster, Marc Mellits, Roger Zare, and many others. The group has just recorded its debut CD, Collider, to be released during 2018-19 on CAG Records.
Founded and still based in Michigan, DSQ’s members are all Selmer-Paris Artists and perform exclusively on Selmer saxophones.