Life of Saxophone Inventor Adolphe Sax

By Richard J. Chandler, MA, Composer​

In 2018, I completed a new work based on the life of the inventor of the saxophone, Adolphe Sax. The narrator of the piece tells Sax’s story in the first person as if Adolphe Sax himself returned from the afterlife and told us his life story.

Sax Transcends for Saxophone Quartet & Narrator

Sax Transcends for Saxophone Quartet & Narrator was premiered at the North American Saxophone Alliance’s Region 3 Conference by The University of Minnesota Saxophone Quartet March 16th, 2019.  It was heard in the University of Minnesota music recital hall by an audience of saxophone enthusiasts from North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota & Iowa. Many were students, music professors, professional and educator saxophonists. ​

The University of Minnesota Saxophone Quartet

The quartet is under the leadership of Dr. Preston Duncan.  Quartet members are:
Christopher Dickhaus, Soprano Saxophone
Russell Sweet, Alto Saxophone
​​Adam Shaw, Tenor Saxophone
​​Emily Brewer, Baritone Saxophone
​Ronnie Bell, II, ​​​Narrator, as the ghost of Adolphe Sax

Adolphe Sax Narrates His Life

Adolphe Sax invented saxophones as well as the modern bass clarinet and a family of brass instruments called “Saxhorns,” which are now known as “Flugelhorns.”

What follows are the highlights of his life based on my research and source material from the book: Adolphe Sax, 1814-1894: His life and legacy by Wally Horwood.

These are the words used in my work, Sax Transcends for Saxophone Quartet & Narrator. Please listen to the YouTube Video as you read the words. Note: the words in bold italic are spoken with the music and the rest of the words between the music.