Music creates bridges between composer, conductor, musician, and audience that invite each into dialogues that transcend physical limitations of time and barriers both external and internal. In 1846, Belgian musician and instrument maker, Adolphe Sax, patented an instrument in France that would bridge the brass and woodwind families. A hybrid with a new voice rich in tonal qualities providing a more expansive range of expression. The saxophone was born.
A century and a half later, Jean-Pierre Schmitt, French conductor, entered a more in depth conversation about the capabilities of the saxophone with American classical saxophonist, Javier Oviedo. Listening to Javier stimulated a passion to delve into the past. They researched and unearthed forgotten compositions that unveiled the rich potential of this unique instrument that lives beyond the world of jazz. In 2007, they co-founded the “Classical Saxophone Project (CSP).”
CSP creates opportunities for musicians to perform classical scores to wider audiences. With his lush, warm and subtle tone, superb technique, and impeccable style, Javier was to Jean-Pierre the perfect ambassador of the classical saxophone. In addition to being a gifted performer, Javier is a dedicated mentor/teacher. He reminded Jean-Pierre of his two inspirational mentors, acclaimed conductor Jean Fournet and phenomenal violinist Gabriella Lengyel. Both knew how to draw the best out of their students. In her last days, she left Jean-Pierre a hand written note saying: “I wish you, with all my heart, to pursue a long and successful career that instills the human and musical heritage we received from the past masters to the next generation.”
Similarly, Javier was also inspired by teachers, most notably Professor Harvey Pittel, who taught him to dedicate himself to his craft and the importance of believing in himself. This is the foundation from which Javier performs and teaches. As an artist, he realizes his gift lies in his beautiful tone and musicianship. As a teacher, he guides his students to explore their own artistic personality as something to be uncovered and developed in order to become true to themselves.
Additionally, CSP encourages today’s composers to expand the saxophone’s repertoire. The composer, conductor, musician and audience are offered new languages and relationships to explore, connecting the past to the present in order to dream about the future. Through music, one should consider: “Whom am I having a conversation with?” CSP not only performs and records the music of the past but also the present. Ultimately, CSP thrives to instill a love of music and invites us all on indescribable journeys upon endless bridges that transcends time and barriers.
Jean-Pierre Schmitt, president
Steven Boritz, vice-president
Firouzeh Sharifi, CFO
Javier Oviedo, general secretary
Javier Oviedo, Executive Director
Jean-Pierre Schmitt, Artistic Director
Florence Deniau, Project Manager
Lizette Kodama, Social Media Coordinator
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