TRANSCONTINENTAL SAXOPHONE QUARTET
Russ Peterson - soprano saxophone
Marco Albonetti - alto saxophone
Carrie Koffman - tenor saxophone
Yiannis Miralis - baritone saxophone
The Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet (TSQ) is comprised of musicians from Cyprus, Italy, and the United States. The quartet offers innovative programming with works that combine elements from classical, jazz, rock, ethnic and world music. The TSQ often collaborates with Greek, Italian and American composers.
Winners of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Chamber Music Competition, TSQ has appeared throughout Europe and North America. They have performed in music festivals such as the Ravenna Festival in Italy, the World Saxophone Conferences in Valencia, Spain and Montreal, Canada, at numerous universities and conservatories, and in a diverse array of community venues.
The original quartet was established in 1996 at Bowling Green State University under the supervision of Dr. John Sampen. Since then, its members have played valuable roles in the field of classical saxophone as winners in international music competitions, as composers, and as saxophone professors at universities and conservatories in Europe and the USA. Carrie Koffman joined the group in 2014.
Carrie Koffman - saxophone
Tim Deighton - viola
. . .this was an evocative and compelling performance. Koffman and Deighton communicated with an eloquence and intensity which was sustained throughout this spell-binding concert.
– Janet Jennings, University of Waikato, New Zealand, OKTA Concert Review
. . . excellent playing . . .
– Dennis Rooney, The Strad
. . . they knocked everyone's socks off with incredible ensemble and rhythmic precision in a demanding and exciting piece.
– Myron Rosenblum, viola.com/nyvs
The sounds complemented each other far better than I had expected, flowing seamlessly and effortlessly across many performances in many genres. So much so, intense concentration was sometimes needed to figure out which instrument was making which sound.
– Naomi Mitchell, The Nelson Mail, New Zealand
The Irrelevants had a wonderful stage presence and projected an ease with each other and the various musical styles that immediately drew in the audience. The different moods and colors they drew from their instruments make a great case for this unusual combination of instruments.
– Myron Rosenblum, The New York Violist
Both performers are impressive exponents of their instruments, and the duo works surprisingly well.
– Robert Johnson, The Critic’s Chair, Radio New Zealand, (review of Dialogues CD)
Aequora tuna silent pits Carrie Koffman's saxophone against Timothy Deighton's viola. The results are magical, with a subtle electronic overlay evoking the calm haven that the Virgil title suggests.
– William Dart, Album Review, New Zealand Herald (review of Toru CD)
The contemporary chamber ensemble The Irrelevants are saxophonist Carrie Koffman and violist Tim Deighton. Their collaboration began in 2002 as the result of their curiosity about the sonic possibilities created by the saxophone and the viola together. As performers, they believe they have discovered a unique musical vehicle with which to contribute to the development of innovative repertoire. The Irrelevants have performed throughout the United States, New Zealand and in Italy, including appearances at the World Saxophone Congress and the International Viola Congress. The venues in which they perform range from academic institutions and new music festivals to community chamber music series.
In addition to performing previously existing works in the genre, the ensemble is dedicated to the creation of new music for their instruments. The Irrelevants have commissioned and premiered works by many composers including Erberk Eryilmaz, Marvin Lamb, Martin Lodge, Michael Kimber, Mark Kuss, David Macbride, Tamar Muskal, Russell Podgorsek, Dan Roman, Paul Seitz, Bruce Trinkley, Joseph Turrin, and Michael Williams. They have also given first performances of new versions of works by Libby Larsen and Hilary Tann.