The School of Music at West Virginia University will present a Saxophone Festival at the Creative Arts Center, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16-17, hosted by saxophone professor Michael Ibrahim and the WVU Saxophone Studio.

All of the events of the festival, including master classes, lectures and performances, will be held in Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A) and are free and open to the public.

The two-day festival will feature several classical saxophonist guest artists, including duo John Sampen and Mark Bunce, of Bowling Green State University; duo Steven Stusek and Laurent Estoppey, of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and soloists Dan Graser of Oakland University, and Stephen Page, of Colorado Mesa University.

Ibrahim and the students in the WVU Saxophone Studio will also perform.

Michael Ibrahim, assistant professor of saxophone, enjoys an active career of solo, chamber, and orchestral work in both contemporary and traditional realms. He has performed throughout North America, France, Russia, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Holland, and has won numerous competitions including the North American Saxophone Alliance Classical Artist Competition, the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition for Woodwinds, the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, the MTNA Woodwind Collegiate Artist and Chamber Music Competitions, and a Darmstadt Performance Prize for Contemporary Music. As a freelance performer at the center of New York City’s contemporary classical scene, Dr. Ibrahim has worked with Amp Music, Either/Or, Fireworks Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Manhattan Sinfonietta, PRISM Quartet, Red Light New Music, SEM Ensemble, and Wet Ink. His solo and chamber music performances have taken place in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Miller Theater, Symphony Space and the Kitchen.

Distinguished saxophonist John Sampen and composer/engineer Mark Bunce are both in residence at Bowling Green State University and have traveled all over the world, offering unique master classes and concert presentations for the saxophone and the electronic medium. Their tours have included trips to the Northwest, the Carolinas, the Southwest, New England, and many other locations throughout the mainland United States. Additionally, they have toured Alaska, Hawaii, Italy, Greece and Canada.

Steve Stusek is associate professor of music at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where he is a member of the Eastwind Quintette d’Anches and the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet. He has studied 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. In 2000, he won the prestigious Dutch Chamber Music Competition as part of the saxophone-accordion duo 2Track with accordion virtuoso Otine van Erp.

After studying saxophone at the Conservatory of Lausanne, Laurent Estoppey devoted himself entirely to contemporary music. Numerous collaborations with composers have led him to create at least one hundred works. Now his musical activity is divided between written music and improvisation, and it occurs throughout Switzerland, many European countries, but also in Canada, the United States, Argentina, Guatemala and South Africa.

Saxophonist Daniel Graser has performed as principal saxophonist with the National Wind Ensemble in Carnegie Hall, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The New World Symphony, and the Ann Arbor Symphony, among others. He performed as the saxophone fellow with the New World Symphony for the 2011-2012 season and was selected by the University of Michigan to perform as the featured saxophonist in recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of the Millennium Stage series. Greatly in demand as an educator, Graser has given master classes at public schools and colleges throughout the world.

Stephen Page has won top prizes at several international and national competitions, including 1st Prizes at the 2010 North American Saxophone Alliance Solo Competition, 2010 Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Competition, AUREC Saxophone Competition and the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition. He is featured on two discs of the “Millennium Tribute to Adolphe Sax,” “Bach-Centric,” and “The Saxophone Music of David Canfield.” His first solo album entitled “Holy Roller,” features works by Decruck, Larsen, Feld, Charpentier and Brandon.

The schedule of events for the Saxophone Festival includes:

Saturday, Feb. 16:

1 p.m. – Performance by Daniel Graser

2 p.m. – Master Class by Stephen Page with student Karen Ralph

3:30 p.m. – Performance by the WVU Saxophone Choir

4 p.m. – Master Class by Steven Stusek and Laurent Estoppey with students Ben Friedman and Garrett Villers

7:30 p.m. – Lecture by Steven Stusek and Laurent Estoppey

8 p.m. – Performance by Steven Stusek and Laurent Estoppey

Sunday, Feb. 17:

10 a.m. – Performance by WVU Saxophone Professor Michael Ibrahim

10:30 a.m. – Master Class by John Sampen, with the KAMG Saxophone Quartet

11 a.m. – Performance by Stephen Page

1:30 p.m. – Master Class by Daniel Graser, with student Tanner Davis

2 p.m. – Performance by John Sampen and Mark Bunce



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
304-293-4841 ext. 3108,

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