BARKADA QUARTET


Barkada Photo 1

Perry Roth, tenor • Shane Rathburn, alto • Justin Polyblank, baritone • Christopher Elchico, soprano


ENSEMBLE

Said to display “virtuosity of the utmost distinctive order” (Splash Magazine), Barkada Quartet was the first saxophone quartet to capture the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition’s coveted Grand Prize by winning all five rounds of the prestigious competition in 2012.

Formed in 2011 at the Indiana University Bloomington Jacobs School of Music (JSoM), Barkada Quartet’s individual members share a friendship and musical camaraderie of such strength that their performances are said to be reminiscent of “watching a group of men having a chat at the water cooler.” With each performance season, the quartet pursues increasingly ambitious projects aimed towards establishing their own unique approach to chamber music, emphasizing the creative power of social interaction and artistic collaboration.

As a performance ensemble, Barkada Quartet has achieved international recognition, having performed over 60 engagements in Italy, Japan, and 14 states in the contiguous United States. Writing for the Portland, ME Press Herald, former New York Times music critic and culture writer, Allan Kozinn, stated that the members of the quartet “…approach their work with the energy of a jazz ensemble and, when they are at their best, the suppleness of a string quartet.” Most recently, Barkada Quartet was invited as a featured Artist-In-Residence during the Chelsea Music Festival’s 2018 “Bach 333” program in New York City. Their performances of David Salleras’ Concerto Grosso no.1 en Fa minore and Joel Love’s Three Images for saxophone octet alongside Kenari Quartet at the North American Saxophone Alliances Biennial Conferences in Cincinnati, Ohio (2018) and Lubbock, Texas (2016) were received with great acclaim, and they were one of only four American chamber ensembles invited to Osaka, Japan to participate in the open division of the 8th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition & Festa in May 2014. To commemorate their first three years as an active chamber group in 2014, Barkada recorded and released their self-produced album, Aventura, which features original works for saxophone quartet by composers David Maslanka, David Salleras Quintana, and David Werfelmann.

Barkada Quartet's 2019-2020 season continues to highlight their blend of new and standard contemporary works for saxophone quartet. The centerpiece of their upcoming performances series will be a recently commissioned piece by composer Carlos Simon. This collaboration represents the third commissioning project led by a consortium of young American saxophone quartets formed in 2016. Simon’s work will join Mischa Zupko’s Quantum Shift (2018) and Marc Mellits’ Ex Machina (2017) in what has become an exciting group effort to commission and perform new major works throughout the country on an annual basis.

Artistic collaboration with friends, colleagues, and mentors located in regions one might consider to be the musical “roots” of Barkada Quartet and its individual members has been an important focus of the quartet since 2012. During the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Association’s Double Gold Medal Winner’s Tour, the quartet was introduced to Chicago composer Amos Gillespie. As many artistic collaborations begin, a post-concert chat turned into a six-year relationship culminated in the writing, dedication, and recording of Providence of Zorn for saxophone quartet. Meeting Amos led to more conversations which turned into projects, beginning in 2015 with six works composed by current and former JSoM students and faculty. Barkada Quartet expanded their collaborative efforts further in fall 2016 to include a new quintet for saxophone quartet and piano written by Indiana University of Pennsylvania professor of music theory & composition, David Martynuik. Quintet No. 2 “Sierra Vita” became the highlight of the quartet’s 2016-17 concert series throughout the Northeast and Ohio Valley regions with pianist and fellow JSoM alum Anastasia Antonacos. The original collection of JSoM saxophone quartets was premiered in 2015 during concerts at major universities in Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia and includes works by composers Elliott Bark, David Dzubay, Luke Ellard, Robert Esrock, John Leszczysnki, and Gabriel Lubell.

Above all, Barkada Quartet seeks to remind its listeners that chamber music is known historically as “the music of friends.” It is the Quartet’s hope that continuing to present virtuosic and carefree public performances, thoughtful musician-composer collaborations, and meaningful educational outreach to its audiences will motivate others to explore chamber music in a way that will carry on this tradition.

ABOUT


 



ENSEMBLE

 

Said to display “virtuosity of the utmost distinctive order” (Splash Magazine), Barkada Quartet was the first saxophone quartet to capture the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition’s coveted Grand Prize by winning all five rounds of the prestigious competition in 2012.

Formed in 2011 at the Indiana University Bloomington Jacobs School of Music (JSoM), Barkada Quartet’s individual members share a friendship and musical camaraderie of such strength that their performances are said to be reminiscent of “watching a group of men having a chat at the water cooler.” With each performance season, the quartet pursues increasingly ambitious projects aimed towards establishing their own unique approach to chamber music, emphasizing the creative power of social interaction and artistic collaboration.

As a performance ensemble, Barkada Quartet has achieved international recognition, having performed over 60 engagements in Italy, Japan, and 14 states in the contiguous United States. Writing for the Portland, ME Press Herald, former New York Times music critic and culture writer, Allan Kozinn, stated that the members of the quartet “…approach their work with the energy of a jazz ensemble and, when they are at their best, the suppleness of a string quartet.” Most recently, Barkada Quartet was invited as a featured Artist-In-Residence during the Chelsea Music Festival’s 2018 “Bach 333” program in New York City. Their performances of David Salleras’ Concerto Grosso no.1 en Fa minore and Joel Love’s Three Images for saxophone octet alongside Kenari Quartet at the North American Saxophone Alliances Biennial Conferences in Cincinnati, Ohio (2018) and Lubbock, Texas (2016) were received with great acclaim, and they were one of only four American chamber ensembles invited to Osaka, Japan to participate in the open division of the 8th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition & Festa in May 2014. To commemorate their first three years as an active chamber group in 2014, Barkada recorded and released their self-produced album, Aventura, which features original works for saxophone quartet by composers David Maslanka, David Salleras Quintana, and David Werfelmann.

Barkada Quartet's 2019-2020 season continues to highlight their blend of new and standard contemporary works for saxophone quartet. The centerpiece of their upcoming performances series will be a recently commissioned piece by composer Carlos Simon. This collaboration represents the third commissioning project led by a consortium of young American saxophone quartets formed in 2016. Simon’s work will join Mischa Zupko’s Quantum Shift (2018) and Marc Mellits’ Ex Machina (2017) in what has become an exciting group effort to commission and perform new major works throughout the country on an annual basis.

Artistic collaboration with friends, colleagues, and mentors located in regions one might consider to be the musical “roots” of Barkada Quartet and its individual members has been an important focus of the quartet since 2012. During the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Association’s Double Gold Medal Winner’s Tour, the quartet was introduced to Chicago composer Amos Gillespie. As many artistic collaborations begin, a post-concert chat turned into a six-year relationship culminated in the writing, dedication, and recording of Providence of Zorn for saxophone quartet. Meeting Amos led to more conversations which turned into projects, beginning in 2015 with six works composed by current and former JSoM students and faculty. Barkada Quartet expanded their collaborative efforts further in fall 2016 to include a new quintet for saxophone quartet and piano written by Indiana University of Pennsylvania professor of music theory & composition, David Martynuik. Quintet No. 2 “Sierra Vita” became the highlight of the quartet’s 2016-17 concert series throughout the Northeast and Ohio Valley regions with pianist and fellow JSoM alum Anastasia Antonacos. The original collection of JSoM saxophone quartets was premiered in 2015 during concerts at major universities in Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia and includes works by composers Elliott Bark, David Dzubay, Luke Ellard, Robert Esrock, John Leszczysnki, and Gabriel Lubell.

Above all, Barkada Quartet seeks to remind its listeners that chamber music is known historically as “the music of friends.” It is the Quartet’s hope that continuing to present virtuosic and carefree public performances, thoughtful musician-composer collaborations, and meaningful educational outreach to its audiences will motivate others to explore chamber music in a way that will carry on this tradition.