The Stanford Woodwind Quintet unites five virtuoso performers in an energetic ensemble that performs a full range of repertoire from the 18th – 20th centuries. The group includes principal musicians from the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and the Opera San Jose Orchestra, each renowned for solo work and chamber music collaboration. Audiences delight to the enthusiasm emanating from these versatile players and the warm rapport established by their informative commentary. Members are on the Music Department faculty at Stanford University, bringing a high level of expertise to their master classes, workshops, and clinics. The Stanford Woodwind Quintet records for the Naxos label.
The Stanford Woodwind Quintet has performed annually on the Avedis Chamber Music Series in San Francisco for 31 Seasons.
IN THE PRESS
“FLAWLESS PRESENTATION… overall performance was completely satisfying… unusually gifted group of players.”
- San Francisco Classical Voice
“The other work of scope was Muczynski’s 1985 Woodwind Quintet, which has already won something of a foothold in the repertoire despite its relative newness. The playing of the various members of the Stanford Woodwind Quintet is consistently superb.”
- Fanfare Magazine
"The evening spent with the Stanford Woodwind Quintet was a stimulating, exciting evening...consistently satisfying from beginning to end."
- The Carmel Pine Cone
"Performance levels were near perfection on all accounts. The Stanford Woodwind Quintet electrified the audience."
- San Mateo Times
- Arizona Daily Star
Musicianship at its zenith. The curtain-raiser was well-chosen. The jazz-folkcontemporary fusion of Hungarian composer Frigyes Hidas' Quintet No. 2 was the perfect piece for showing off the woodwind players’ talents. Touches of Gershwin splashed over a Benny Goodman clarinet line, deftly hooted by clarinetist Mark Brandenburg. Flutist Alexandra Hawley had no shortage of Charlie Parker licks and Miles Davis riffs, trading off lines with Olivier's bassoon. The simplest ostinato was overlaid with sensitive chordal textures, evolving into a gospel-flavored East-European folk tune. Each of the five movements took gospel-flavored East-European folk tune. Each of the five movements took the form of carefully-crafted miniature showcases which, like the overall concert itself, were completely satisfying without quite sating the musical appetite for this unusually gifted group of players.
– San Francisco Classical Voice.
The SWQ deliberately chooses inventive modern programs and chamber music is a team sport. It became obvious very quickly why pianist John Nakamatsu was 1997 given the chamber-music award at the Van Cliburn Competition with the unfolding of the Sextet by Ludwig Thuille from the 1880s. Heavily influenced by Brahms stylistically with his deep piano parts, dominant horn role, and expansive melodiousness, Thuille had the imagination to avoid getting us bogged down in the dense structure---a half-hour long, the four-movement piece fairly flies along. The pianist interacted with the Stanford Wind Quintet as if they were long term collaborators. Nakamatsu also joined the SWQ in the Poulenc Sextet, a restless piece of explosive energy with a boulevadier's panache. They set a near-frenetic pace in the outer movements: The Champs Elysees on speed---eyecatching, ear-catching, and sexy, too.
- San Jose Mercury News
The Avedis ensemble presents a wealth of delights, programming only unknown or forgotten chamber music.
- San Francisco Chronicle
ALEXANDRA HAWLEY was born in New York, daughter of Alexander Williams, principal clarinetist with the N. B. C. Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini, and Frances Blaisdell, the first woman wind player admitted to both the Juilliard School of Music and to the New York Philharmonic. Mrs. Hawley studied with Murray Panitz of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Lloyd Gowen at Stanford and Jean-Pierre Rampal in France. She completed her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees at Stanford University, moved to Europe, and performed in recital and on radio. She made her professional debut in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Recital Hall and her New York debut in Carnegie Recital Hall. She now performs throughout the United States as a soloist and chamber musician. Mrs. Hawley was a member of the National Flute Association delegation to the Soviet Union in 1989 and has been invited to perform at their conventions in Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego and Kansas City. Her recordings for the Naxos label include Robert Muczynski's complete works for flute with the composer at the piano and guest artist Rampal. Mrs. Hawley is the founder and artistic director of the Avedis Chamber Music series in San Francisco, a member of the music department faculty at Stanford University and a founding member of the Stanford Woodwind Quintet.
DR. MICHAEL ADDUCI teaches oboe, music theory and ear training at San José State University. He holds Bachelor’s degrees in biology and music from the University of Idaho, and Master’s and DMA degrees in oboe performance from the University of North Texas, where he studied with Charles Veazey. Dr. Adduci is a member of the Santa Cruz County Symphony, and he performs regularly with orchestras around the Bay area, including Symphony Silicon Valley, Opera San José, Ballet San José, the San José Chamber Orchestra, the Fremont Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Cruz Chamber Orchestra, and many others. When he is not teaching or performing, he is also the proprietor of Adduci Oboe Reeds, working with clients around the United States and Canada.
MARK BRANDENBURG received Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the Juilliard School of Music, and includes Frealon Bibbins Jr., Bernard Portnoy, and Rosario Mazzeo among his teachers. A former member of the San Francisco Symphony and the San Jose Symphony, he is currently principal clarinet in the Opera San Jose Orchestra and the Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra. In addition, Mr. Brandenburg pursues an active solo, chamber music and free-lance career, performing frequently with many of the Bay Area's leading ensembles. He has taught at San Jose State University and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is currently on the faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Stanford University, where he is a member of the Stanford Woodwind Quintet.
LAWRENCE RAGENT, hornist, received his musical training at the New England Conservatory where he graduated with honors. He is a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and the Boston Symphony. Ragent has taught at Brown University and the University of California at Santa Cruz and is currently on the faculty of Stanford University, where he is also a member of the Stanford Woodwind Quintet. Ragent has performed as soloist with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia San Francisco and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra.
RUFUS OLIVIER has held the principal bassoon position in the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 1980. At the age of eighteen Olivier was selected to perform a concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and later went on to play with that same orchestra. In 1977 he won a position with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Neville Mariner, and the same month joined the San Francisco Symphony. Olivier performs frequently as a soloist and as a member of the Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra and Sinfonia Concertante. He teaches at Stanford University and is a founding member of the Stanford Woodwind Quintet.
SAMPLE PROGRAMS PROGRAM 1
Hungarian Dance Suite Ferrenc Farkas (b. 1905)
Summer Music Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
Three Shanties Malcolm Arnold (b. 1921)
Trio in g minor Antonio Vivaldi (1675-1741)
Quintette Jean Francaix (1912-1997)
Trois Pièces Brèves Jacques Ibert (1890-1962)
Serenade in c minor, K. 388 Wolfgang A. Mozart (1756-1791)
Six Bagatelles Gyorgy Ligeti (b. 1923)
Quintet No. 2 (1969)
Frigyes Hidas (b. 1928)
Aires Tropicales (1984)
Paquito D’Rivera (b. 1948)
Three Short Pieces (1930)
Jacques Ibert (1890-1962)
Quartet in B flat Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868)
Petite Suite Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Quintet No. 2 (1969)
Frigyes Hidas (b. 1928)
Three Shanties Malcolm Arnold (b. 1921)
Maple Leaf Rag Scott Joplin (1868-1917)