Saxophone Professor’s Commission Named Pulitzer Finalist
Work for Joseph Lulloff’s saxophone quartet earns composer Carter Pann high honor.
Composer Carter Pann’s saxophone quartet work – The Mechanics: Six From the Shop Floor – was recently named a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in music. Commissioned by the Capitol Quartet, which includes MSU faculty member Joseph Lulloff, the work can be heard on the quartet's most recent recording, Balance, produced by Blue Griffin Recordings.
Pann describes “picturing all four gentlemen of the Capitol Quartet to be dressed as old-time auto mechanics, smudged with grit and grease, performing in the middle of my brother’s taxicab stand (which is also a full-service auto shop with two hydraulic lifts).”
Formed in 1991, the Capitol Quartet performs regularly at major concert venues in the United States earning wide acclaim for its musical versatility and innovative style of classical and jazz. Each member is considered a highly skilled performer; among the best saxophone players in the world. Other members of the group include David Stambler, Penn State; Christopher Creviston, Arizona State; and Andrew Dahlke, University of Northern Colorado.
“It has been a true honor for us in Capitol Quartet to collaborate with Carter Pann, both in commissioning and premiering this work and recording it,” says Lulloff. “Carter is such a natural talent, a creative and innovative composer, and a wonderful person. His writing for our quartet not only shows the many moods and sound textures that saxophone is capable of in a chamber music setting, but also captures our unique abilities to play in both jazz and classical idioms while keeping with the spirit and personality of our group.”
Pann has written for and worked with musicians around the world, garnering performances by ensembles such as the London Symphony and City of Birmingham Symphony, the Tchaikovsky Symphony in Moscow, many radio symphonies around Europe, the Seattle Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, the youth orchestras of New York and Chicago, and countless wind ensembles. He has written for Richard Stoltzman, the Antares Ensemble, the Capitol Saxophone Quartet, the West Coast Wind Quintet, the River Oaks Chamber Ensemble and many concert pianists. His String Quartet No. 2 “Operas” was commissioned by the Takács Quartet to premiere in the 2015-16 season. Pann has been awarded a Charles Ives Fellowship, a Masterprize seat in London and five Morton Gould ASCAP awards (including a Leo Kaplan award) over the years. His numerous albums encompass solo, vocal, chamber, orchestral and wind music and have received two Grammy® nominations to date. He currently teaches at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
“This prestigious recognition that Carter has received is so very well deserved,” continues Lulloff, “and I know ‘The Mechanics’ will become a staple in the Capitol Quartet’s repertoire and a favorite among many saxophone quartets in the years to come.”