Lauded for “nonstop virtuoso skills” (Times Herald-Record, New York) and "evocative, educational, and refreshing" concerts (Newport Daily News, Rhode Island), the Asylum Quartet’s repertoire spans traditional, contemporary and globally-minded works.
The four saxophonists met in 2011 as graduate students at the The Hartt School in West Hartford, Connecticut, and adopted their name from Asylum Hill, the storied Hartford neighborhood. In the mid-nineteenth century, this area was an important commercial, political, and cultural capital where literary figures such as Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe made their home. Today, the quartet pays tribute to the cultural vitality of Asylum Hill through efforts to engage and captivate diverse audiences and contribute to the vibrancy of its home city. The Asylum Quartet was Ensemble-in-Residence at Hartford’s Christ Church Cathedral, providing free community concerts in downtown Hartford through 2016. In partnership with Hartford Performs, the quartet provided educational music programming to students in Hartford and beyond.
Performance highlights include a showcase performance at the 2015 Chamber Music America Conference in New York City, a six-day residency with the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, as well as a full season of concerts, workshops, and masterclasses in southeastern Connecticut public schools as 2014-2015 Musical Masterworks Resident Ensemble. The quartet has performed at the Boston Athaeneum, the Newport Music Festival, the Traverse City Film Festival, and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, and has been a featured guest on WNPR's Where We Live, WWUH's The 20th Century Limited, WNMC's Morning Jazz, and WCRI's Festival Series. Asylum received the Grand Prize in the 2014 International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition in Boston, Massachusetts, becoming the first saxophone quartet to receive this honor.
The quartet has collaborated closely with a number of diverse composers including Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin, Erberk Eryilmaz, Polina Nazaykinskaya, Alan Thomas, Rob Curto and Ryan Jesperson. Additionally, the quartet launched its first Call for Scores competition in 2014 as part of its efforts to curate new works from fresh, compelling voices.
Joseph Abad’s repertoire spans from Bach, Debussy, Berio, and many of today’s leading composers, performing in venues throughout the nation. As a concerti soloist, he has performed with the Hamden Symphony Orchestra, the Hudson Valley Chamber Winds, The Hartt School Wind Ensemble, the Hartt Symphony Orchestra, the University of California (Davis) Symphony Orchestra, the University of California (Davis) Wind Ensemble, and the James Logan High School Wind Symphony (CA).
As a chamber musician, Joseph has performed as a member of the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, the Generous Ensemble (CT), The Hartt School’s Performance 20/20 honors chamber music program, and The Hartt School’s Foot In The Door Ensemble. As an orchestral saxophonist, Joseph has performed with symphonies in California, Connecticut, New York, and Vermont.
Joseph currently has his own private studio of saxophone students in Connecticut, and previously served as saxophone faculty at the Hartt School Community Division.
Joseph is from Union City, California, and is an endorsed artist for Forestone Reeds.
Hailing from picturesque Southern Vermont, Tony Speranza delivers energetic performances as a chamber musician and solo performer. Mr. Speranza's expanding repertoire encompasses numerous periods and styles including Bach transcriptions, classical sonatas, contemporary works utilizing live electronics and multi-effects pedals, and classic rock & roll. As a soloist, Speranza was the winner of the MTNA Young Artist Competition for the state of Connecticut (2008 and 2011) and Vermont (2010), receiving honorable mention in the regional competition. Speranza was a national finalist in the MTNA Chamber Music Competition (2011) as a member of the Vagus Trio. The trio also participated in the Region 8 Conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance (2011) premiering Speranza’s arrangement of Robert Carl’s 100 Views from the Bird’s Eye, and also performed at the North American Saxophone Alliance National Conference (2012). Tony has participated the Lions Gate Trio-Brahms Schumann Project (2011), the Hartford New Music Festival (2011), and the International Day of Collaborative Music (2012). Tony plays regularly throughout New England with the Wyld Nights Band, a classic rock band out of Brattleboro, VT.
Tony holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education summa cum laude and a Graduate Professional Diploma in Saxophone Performance from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. Tony's primary teachers have been Kevin Burns and Carrie Koffman.
Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Max is an avid chamber musician, soloist, educator, and musical arranger. He has performed with the Juilliard Orchestra under Marin Alsop at Carnegie Hall, the U.S. Coast Guard Band, and the Generous Ensemble. In 2012, Max served as tenor saxophonist with Philadelphia's International Opera Theater. The company's Italian tour featured the world premiere opera Buffalo Soldier by Carlo Pedini and Karen Saillant, playing to audiences in Citta della Pieve and Rome's historic Teatro Valle. Max's arrangements for saxophone ensemble include works by Philip Glass, Beethoven, Debussy, Franck, Gershwin, Piazzolla, Zorn, Imogen Heap, Ljova, Louis Thomas Hardin ("Moondog") and others.
Max holds a Master's of Music from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, where he studied with Carrie Koffman. He received a Bachelor of Music summa cum laude from Arizona State University's Herberger Institute School of Music, and Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. There, he studied with Dr. Timothy McAllister of the PRISM quartet. Other teachers have included Anita Handelsman and James Rotter. Max maintains a private studio in the greater Hartford area.
Max is an endorsed artist for Forestone Reeds.
A native of northern California, saxophonist Andrew Barnhart is a dedicated chamber musician and soloist. As a chamber musician, he has been awarded first prizes from the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition, and was a national finalist in both the 2011-2012 MTNA Chamber Music Competition and the North American Saxophone Alliance's Quartet Competitions in 2010 and 2012. As a soloist, Andrew was named a semi-finalist in the 2012 International Saxophone Symposium and Competition (Columbus, Georgia), and was the winner of the 2012 MTNA Young Artist Competition in the state of Connecticut. He has also won third prize in the 2013 Eastern Connecticut Symphony's Instrumental Competition, and was a winner of the 2013 Paranov Concerto Competition at The Hartt School, later performing Jacques Ibert’s Concertino da Camera with the Hartt Philharmonia. Andrew has also performed solo and quartet concerti with the UCLA Wind Ensemble, the UCLA Symphony, and the Hartt Wind Ensemble. Other performances include the 2010 Fischoff Winners Tour, including a live radio broadcast for Chicago WFMT, and the 2010 and 2012 U.S. Navy Band’s Saxophone Symposiums. Andrew has instructed saxophone at Cazadero Performing Arts Camp and performed with the UC Berkeley Summer Symphony.
Andrew holds a B.A. in Music from UCLA, where he also earned a minor in Music History, and an M.M. in Saxophone Performance from The Hartt School, where he was a member of the honors chamber music program, Performance 20/20. His primary teachers have been Dr. Keith Bohm, Dr. Douglas Masek, and Carrie Koffman.
- Aug 17, 2016 Union Hall | Maine Aug 17, 2016
- Aug 17, 2016 Rockport Opera House | Maine Aug 17, 2016
- Apr 28, 2016 Christ Church Cathedral | Connecticut Apr 28, 2016
- Mar 18, 2016 Brattleboro Music Center | Vermont Mar 18, 2016
- Mar 5, 2016 Great Hall Concert Series | Massachusetts Mar 5, 2016
- Feb 27, 2016 Abingdon Episcopal Church | Virginia Feb 27, 2016
- Jan 16, 2016 Norfolk Library | Connecticut Jan 16, 2016
- Sep 26, 2015 – Oct 4, 2015 Avaloch Farm Music Institute | New Hampshire Sep 26, 2015 – Oct 4, 2015
- Apr 29, 2015 Cathedral Basilica | New Jersey Apr 29, 2015
- Apr 11, 2015 Nordica Auditorium | Maine Apr 11, 2015
- Mar 22, 2015 First Church Of Nashua | New Hampshire Mar 22, 2015
- Mar 15, 2015 Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility | New Hampshire Mar 15, 2015
- Mar 15, 2015 St. Kieran Community Center For The Arts | New Hampshire Mar 15, 2015
- Feb 22, 2015 First Congregational Church Of Greenwich Feb 22, 2015
- Feb 1, 2015 Ossining Public Library | New York Feb 1, 2015
- Jan 17, 2015 Chamber Music America Showcase Jan 17, 2015
- Oct 15, 2014 Boston Athenaeum | Massachusetts Oct 15, 2014
- Oct 11, 2014 Merryall Center For The Arts | Connecticut Oct 11, 2014
- Sep 26, 2014 Greenwich House Music School | New York Sep 26, 2014
- Jul 29, 2014 – Aug 3, 2014 Traverse City Film Festival | Michigan Jul 29, 2014 – Aug 3, 2014
- Jul 21, 2014 – Jul 22, 2014 Newport Music Festival | Rhode Island Jul 21, 2014 – Jul 22, 2014
- Jun 25, 2014 Reeves-Reed Arboretum | New Jersey Jun 25, 2014
- Jun 19, 2014 International Festival Of Arts And Ideas Jun 19, 2014
- Mar 21, 2014 WNPR's "Where We Live" Mar 21, 2014
- Mar 8, 2014 – Mar 9, 2014 International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition Mar 8, 2014 – Mar 9, 2014
- Jan 25, 2014 The Buttonwood Tree Jan 25, 2014