Awarded with internationally renowned prizes, the Xenon Saxophone Quartet counts among the young beacons of hope in the chamber music scene. The quartet members were able to demonstrate their skills in important concert venues, such as the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, and during numerous radio broadcasts.
The name of the ensemble is derived from the very rare monatomic noble gas Xenon. The four saxophonists aim at presenting their passion for music to their audience in a dynamic, innovative and modern way – just as special as this precious Xenon gas is for technology and science. For Lukas Stappenbeck (soprano), Anže Rupnik (alto), Adrian Durm (tenor) and Benjamin Reichel (baritone) this name is a commitment to forming a musical unit and achieving professionality through discipline and joy of playing. The four saxophonists were all trained at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln (Cologne Music University) and attended courses led by Prof. Daniel Gauthier (solo) and Sebastian Pottmeier (chamber music). They came together in 2010 and have since been playing numerous concerts in Germany and abroad.
The quartet often played on the radio (at the WDR3 „Campustour“ in May 2011, at the „Open Auditions“ in May 2013, at WDR3 Tonart in October 2014, at the WDR3 Cologne music night in September 2015) and played concerts at the „Les musicales de Grillon“ festival in France in the summer of 2012. Moreover, the quartet is a scholarship holder of „Yehudi Menuhin–LiveMusicNow Köln e.V.“ and the „Werner Richard – Dr. Carl Dörken“ foundation since 2013. In October 2014, the ensemble was awarded the „Marco Fiorindo“ competition in Turin (Italy). Another highlight was the performance at the Gerry-Weber-Stadion hall (summer night of the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia), when the quartet was playing solo with the north-west German philharmonic orchestra in front of around 6.000 concert-goers. The concert was also broadcasted on television (WDR).
The members of the Xenon Saxophone Quartet are musicians, who already played numerous concerts all over the world – solo as well as in other formations which is a huge enrichment for making music together. The quartet was awarded first prizes at the federal competition for young musicians “Jugend Musiziert” and was also successful at important competitions such as the “Grachtenfestival-Concours” in Amsterdam.
The studies of chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln enables the quartet members to be trained by renowned musicians, e.g. the Cuarteto Casals and the clarinettist Hans-Dietrich Klaus. The quartet received further impetus by the violinist of the Minguet Quartet Annette Reisinger.
photos by Ira Weinrauch