Chameleonic and passionate, that would be the best way to describe the four saxophonists who make up the Amstel Quartet. Whether it is old music or the very latest sounds, pop music, jazz, classical or world music – once you hear the Amstel Quartet play, all borders between these genres simply fade away. Technical limitations disappear and musical boundaries are there merely to be crossed.
This adventurous attitude has brought the foursome a multitude of admirers worldwide – and justifiably so; a performance by the Amstel Quartet has the thrilling energy of a pop concert. The quartet takes you along on a breath-taking and moving journey time and again. It is not without reason that the Dutch press has dubbed the Amstel Quartet "The most colourful saxophone quartet in the world."
The Amstel Quartet has won many awards, including the Concert Artists Guild Management Award, the Kersjes Prize and the Gaudeamus International Interpreters Award. Their international recognition is also reflected in the venues that the ensemble frequently play: in addition to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Philharmonie in Luxembourg and Carnegie Hall in New York the four saxophonists also tour the stages of Europe, Russia, the Middle East, China, Japan, Canada and the United States.
The Amstel Quartet has released nine CDs so far, through their own label Amstel Records. Those recordings are as versatile as the ensemble itself, ranging from pieces composed or arranged especially for the Amstel Quartet to minimal maestros and Indian tabla. Their latest album of French Chansons, Sax avec Elan!, was hailed in the Dutch press as “saxy chansons brimming with joie de vivre.” National daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad wrote: “You immediately imagine yourself in vaudeville. The saxophonie virtuosos of the Amstel Quartet feel at ease with every style of music.”
Photograph: Marco Borggreve