Saxophone History Timeline

Materials Compiled by:

Jeffrey Heisler (Oakland University), Timothy McAllister (Northwestern University / University of Michigan), Andrew Stoker, Fobert Faub, John Jeanneret and Rebecca Blow (SUNY Potsdam), Serge Bertocchi and Alex Sellers

1814 - Antoine-Joseph (Adolphe) Sax born 6 November, Dinant, Belgium, studies instrument-making with his father, Charles-Joseph (1791-1865)

1834 - Adolphe Sax perfects bass-clarinet design; *improves keywork and construction

1842 - Sax arrives in Paris

1842 - 12 June--Sax's close friend Hector Berlioz writes article in Paris magazine Journal des Debats describing Sax's newest invention--the saxophone

1844 - 3 February--Berlioz conducts concert which features an arrangement of his choral work Chant Sacre which includes saxophone

1844 - December--Saxophone makes its orchestral debut in Georges Kastner's opera Last King of Juda; Paris Conservatory

1845 - Sax re-tools military band by replacing oboe, bassoons, and french horns with saxhorns in Bb and Eb, producing a more homogenous sound, his idea is a success

1845 - Georges Kastner--Variations Faciles et Brillante for solo saxophone; Sextour for 2 soprano, alto, bass and contrabass saxophones

1846 - Sax granted patent for saxophone

1847 - 14 February--Saxophone school set up at "Gymnase Militaire Musical"--a military band school in Paris

1858 - Sax becomes Professor of Saxophone at Paris Conservatory

1858 - Jean-Baptiste Singelee (b. Brussels 1812-d. Ostend 1875)-- writes first two Paris Conservatory contest solos; Concerto (sop./ten.),

Fantaisie (bari.)

1861 - Wagner, in lieu of 12 French Horns, uses saxophones and saxhorns in the orchestra pit at the Paris premiere of his opera Tannhauser

1862 - Jules Demerssemann (b. Belgium 1833, d. Paris 1866)-- Fantaisie sur un Theme Originale (ded. to Henri Wuille, alto)

1866 - Sax patent expires--Millereau Co. patents Saxophone-Millereau, which features a forked F# key

1867 - Nazaire Beeckman becomes Professor of Saxophone at Brussels Conservatory

1868 - Gautrot, Pierre Louis & Co.--devises screw-in pad system and mechanism inside pad cup to keep outside of pad flat

1870 – Adolphe Sax class in the Conservatoire de Paris is closed (the military students are mobilized for the war). Will reopen in 1942 with Marcel Mule.

1871 - Gustav Poncelet becomes Professor of Saxophone at Brussels Conservatory after Beeckman

1875 - Goumas--patented saxophone with fingering system similar to Boehm system clarinet

1877 - Hyacinthe Klose--Methode Complete de Saxophone ; Klose-- Methode Elementaire (alto/tenor)

1879 - Klose--Methode Elementaire (baritone) Georges Bizet-- L'Arlesienne Suites No. 1&2

1881 - Klose--Methode Elementaire (sop.)

1881 - Jules Massenet--Herodiade

1881 - Sax extends his original patent--lengthens bell to include low Bb and A; also extends upward range to F# and G with use of fourth octave key

1885 - First saxophone built in U.S. from Sax patent by Gus Buescher

1886 - L'Association Des Ouvriers--devise right hand C trill key, and a half-tone system for first fingers of left and right hands

1887 - L'Association Des Ouvriers--invent tuning ring, and precursor of articulated G#

1887 - Evette and Schaeffer--improve on articulated G# so that G# key can be held down while any finger of the right hand is being used, improved forked F#, invented "bis" key, added low Bb

1888 - Lecomte--invents single octave key, rollers for low Eb-C 1892 - Jules Massenet—Werther
1893 – Rudy Weidoeft born in Detroit, MI on January 3
1894 - Sax dies

1896 - Eugene Coffin plays on earliest Columbia saxophone recordings 1897 - Creation of Storyville

1901 - 29 January, Charles Loeffler's Divertisment espanol is premiered by Elise Hall in Boston's Copley Hall (first work commissioned by E. Hall)

1901 - Elise Hall commissions Claude Debussy to write saxophone work

1901 – Marcel Mule born in Aube (Orne, France) on June 24th

1903 - Symphonia Domestica by Richard Strauss. Score includes saxophones keyed in F & C: sopr., alto (mezzo), bari., bass. *Part now exists as obbligato section for instruments keyed in Bb and Eb.

1903 - Elise Hall commissions Choral Varie by Vincent d'Indy

1904 - 4 January, premiere of Choral Varie by E. Hall in Copley Hall, Boston

1904 - 21 March, World Premiere of Richard Strauss' Symphonia Domestica in Carnegie Hall, New York City

1906 - 2 January, Elise Hall premieres Legend for saxophone and orchestra by Georges Sprok

1908 - Paul de Ville's Universal Method for saxophone first published by Carl Fischer

1911 - Henri Woollett's Siberia - Poeme Symphonique is premiered by Elise Hall

1911 - Tom Brown and the Brown Brothers saxophone sextet popularize saxophone with American public with recordings of such songs as: Bullfrog Blues, Chicken Walk,

1914 - Rudy Wiedoeft makes his first saxophone record

1916 - Charles Ives writes saxophone part in Symphony No. 4 (premiere of work is much later)

1917 - Bela Bartok's The Wooden Prince is premiered; score includes alto and tenor saxes

1917 - Benjamin Vereecken's Foundation of Saxophone Playing published by Carl Fischer

1918 – Florent Schmitt composes “Legende Op. 66” for Elise Hall

1918 - Percy Grainger uses saxophone for the first time in Children's March (sopr. alto, tenor, bari., and bass)

1919 - 11 March, premiere of Debussy's Rapsodie Yves Mayeur, soloist 1922 - Saxophone used in Mussorgsky/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition 1923 - Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin (2 altos, tenor)
1923 - Darius Milhaud writes for saxophone in Le creation du monde 1924 - Elise Hall dies

1926 - Puccini's Turandot includes saxophone part in score

1926 - 31 January, first performance of serious saxophone literature in New York City's Aeolian Hall by Jascha Gurewich (1896-1938)

1926 – John Coltrane born in Hamlet, North Carolina

1927 - Ravel uses saxophone in his Bolero (sopranino, soprano, tenor)

1927 - Job by Ralph Vaughan Williams (alto)

1928 - An American in Paris by George Gershwin (alto, tenor, bari)

1928 - Symphony No. 1 Aaron Copland (alto)

1928 - Marcel Mule establishes quartet along with members of the Garde Republicaine de Paris

1928 – George Gershwin composes “An American in Paris” (includes Alto, Tenor, Baritone saxes)

1929 - Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933) composes 25 Caprices for Saxophone

1932 - Harvey Pittel is born on June 22
1932 - Eugene Rousseau is born in Blue Island, Illinois on August 23

1932 - Jean-Marie Londeix is born in Libourne, France on September 20

1932 – Alexandre Glazounov composes “Quatour Op. 109” for the Garde Républicaine's quartet

1933 - Marcel Mule premieres Legend by Florent Schmitt (written for Elise Hall)

1933 – Hindemith composes “Konzertstück”

1934 - Premiere of Alexandre Glazunov's Concerto on November 25th by Sigurd Rascher

1935 - Premiere of Jacques Ibert's Concertino da Camera (mvmt. 1) by Marcel Mule in December

1935 - Frederick Hemke is born on July 11th

1935 - Marcel Mule premieres Pierre Vellones' Concerto in November 16th

1935 - Sigurd Rascher premieres (in entirety) Concertino da Camera by Jacques Ibert on December 11th

1936 - Eugene Bozza composes Aria for alto saxophone

1937 - Cecil Leeson gives first performance of the Glazunov Concerto on February 5

1937 - Larry Teal premieres the Bernhard Heiden Sonata on April 8th

1937 - Donald Sinta is born in Detroit, MI on June 16th

1937 - James M. Stoltie born in Galesburg, Ill. on July 10th

1938 - Jascha Gurewich dies (known as composer of various saxophone works)

1939 - Jamey Aebersold is born on July 21st (known as a jazz pedagogue and influential to jazz saxophone practice techniques, as well as other instruments)

1939 - Arnold Brillhart begins design and production of mouthpieces (also known as jazz saxophonist)

1939 - Paul Creston (*Joseph Guttovegio) composes Sonata for Cecil Leesson

1939 - Paul Hindemith composes Sonata (adapted by composer for alto sax & piano)

1940 - Saxophonist Rudy Wiedoeft dies in Queens, NY on February 18

1941 - Top Tones, by Sigurd Rascher is released as a study to saxophone altissimo register

1941 - Henry Brant composes Concerto
1942 - Stan Getz (1927-1991) begins playing as a professional


1942 - Classical Tenor saxophonist pioneer James Houlik is born in Bay Shore, NY on December 4

1942 - Pierre Lantier composes Andante et Scherzetto

1942 - Marcel Mule is appointed Professor of Saxophone at the Paris Conservatory

1943 - 18 Berbiguier Exercises is published by Mule

1944 - Eugene Bozza publishes Improvisation et Caprice for solo saxophone (used of different instruments previously)

1946 - 48 Ferling Etudes is reissued through Marcel Mule

1948 - Japanese saxophonist and composer Ryo Noda is born in Amagasaki, Japan on October 17

1948 - Heitor Villa-Lobos composes Fantasia Op. 630 for Marcel Mule

1949 - Jazz saxophonists Gerry Mulligan and Lee Konitz are released along with other artists on Miles Davis' album Birth of the Cool

1949 – Premiere of Ingolf Dahl's Concerto by Sigurd Rascher
1950 - Lynn Klock, Prof at Univ. of Mass. Amherst, is born on August

1951 - Rueff Concerto is premiered in the Solos de Concours in Paris

1953 - Daniel Deffayet debuts as saxophone soloist (succeeds Mule at the Paris Conservatory in 1968)

1953 - Larry Teal is appointed Professor of Saxophone at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor *becoming the first American public university, tenure-track appointment; founds doctoral program

1954 - The Selmer Mark VI Saxophone begins to be produced 1955 - Charlie "Bird" Parker dies in New York City on March 12

1956 - Alfred Desenclos composes Prelude, Cadence et Finale for the Paris Solos de Concours

1956 - Dubois composes Quatour for saxophones

1956 - Frederick Hemke is first American saxophonist to win Premiere Prix de Saxophone at the Paris Conservatory

1956 - Laura Hunter is born June 13 (student of Donald Sinta and J.M. Londeix)

1957 - Saxophone Colossus released by jazz tenor man Sonny Rollins

1958 - John Coltrane is jazz tenor saxophonist and quartet leader on the album, Giant Steps

1958 - Erland von Koch composes Concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra for Sigurd Rascher

1959 - "Take Five" a Paul Desmond composition is released on the album featuring the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Time Out

1959 - Paule Maurice composes Tableaux de Provence
1959 - Jazz tenor legend Lester Young dies in New York on March 15 1960 - Joseph Lulloff, prof of sax at Michigan State University, is born 1961 - Percy Grainger dies, February 2
1961 - Walter Hartley's Petite Suite written for Fred Hemke
1961 – Giacinto Scelsi composes
Tre Pezzi
1961 - Karel Husa composes Elegie et Rondeau
1962 – John David Lamb composes Six Barefoot Dances
1962 - Eugene Rousseau studies with Marcel Mule
1963 - The Art of Saxophone Playing is published by Larry Teal
1963 - Fred Hemke is appointed to Northwestern Univ. staff
1964 - John Coltrane's A Love Supreme issued
1964 – Alfred Desenclos composes
Quatuor for saxophones
1967 - Coltrane dies, July 17
1967 – Steve Reich composes
Reed Phase

1967 - DiPasquale Sonata is published for Tenor Sax (Southern Music)

1967 - Hartley writes and publishes Poem and Sonatina for James Houlik

1967 - Karel Husa composes Concerto for saxophone and band

1968 - Mule retires from Paris Conservatory

1968 - Daniel Defayet begins teaching at the Paris Conservatoire

1968 - Leslie Bassett's Music for Alto Saxophone and Piano is published (Peters)

1968 – Philip Glass composes Gradus
1968 - Saxophonist James Stoltie hired at SUNY Potsdam's Crane

School of Music
1968 - Leslie Bassett composes
Music for Saxophone and Piano

1969 - Rascher Quartet is formed - Sigurd and Carina Rascher, Bruce Weinberger and Linda Bangs

1969 - M.W. Karlins Music for Tenor Saxophone is written for Hemke

1969 - Heiden Solo written for Rousseau

1969 - May 19, Coleman Hawkins dies

1969 - December - 1st World Saxophone Congress Meeting, Chicago; organized by Brodie/Rousseau; *Donald Sinta elected Chairman

1970 - December - Trent Kynaston (prof of sax at Western Mich. Univ.) premieres Muczynki's Sonata Op. 29

1970 - 2nd World Saxophone Congress Meeting, Chicago 1970 - Edison Denisov writes Sonata for J.M. Londeix 1971 - Rosemary Lang altissimo studies published
1971 - Noda
Improvisation I written for Londeix

1971 - Saxophone Concertos (Eugene Rousseau) record issued on Deutches Grammophon; reissued in CD 1998

1971 - 3rd WSC Meeting in Toronto

1972 - Daily Studies: Larry Teal Published

1972 – William Duckworth composes Pitt County Excursions

1973 - Nov. 8, Harvey Pittel makes Carnegie Hall debut

1973 - Fourth WSC Meeting in Bordeaux, France

1973 – Marcel Mihalovici composes Chant Premier

1974 - Larry Teal retires from the University of Michigan, Donald Sinta takes over

1974 - Ross Lee Finney composes Concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra of wind instruments for Teal's retirement. Premiered by Sinta

1975 – Darius Milhaud dies

1975 - Cannonball Adderly dies

1976 - Mark VII introduced with standard high F# key

1976 - Selmer's square-chamber mouthpieces marketed

1976 – Ronald Caravan composes Paradigms I

1977 - 30 May, PaulDesmond dies

1977 - Rascher's last public performance

1977 – John Sampen begins teaching at Bowling Green State University

1978 - Houlik makes Carnegie Hall debut 1978 - Lynn Klock makes Carnegie Hall debut

1978 - Merle Johnston (b. 1897 Watertown, NY) dies (revolutionized pedagogy in the US)

1978 – François Rossé composes Le Frène Égaré
1979 - James Forger premieres John Anthony Lennon's Distances

Within Me

1979 – Marius Constant composes Concertante

1980 - Yamaha introduces 62 series

1980 - Laura Hunter makes Carnegie Hall debut

1980 – Ichirô Nodaïra composes Arabesque III

1980 – Karlheinz Stockhausen composes Knabenduet for two sopranos

1981 - Selmer S80 mouthpiece introduced

1981 - Kynaston premieres Muczynki's Concerto op. 41

1981 - Rascher retires

1981 - Houlik performs in Alice Tully Hall

1981 - Premiere of Luciano Berio's Sequenza IXb

1981 – Betsy Jolas composes Points d'or

1982 - Claude Delangle becomes Professor at the CNRM at Boulogne- Billancourt

1982 - Saxophone Sinfonia appears in Alice Tully Hall (D. Bilger, dir.) 1982 - 7th WSC in Nuremburg, Germany

1982 - Premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen's In Freundschaft, version for saxophone (J. Sampen)

1982 - Charles Wuorinen composes Divertimento

1982 - Jean-Michel Goury begins teaching at the Conservatoire National de Musique des Landes

1982 - Li Yusheng begins teaching at the Sichuan Conservatory 1982 – Daniel Kientzy publishes Les Sons Multiples aux Saxophones

1983 - Amercian saxophonist Steven Jordheim wins Silver Medal (top prize) at the Geneva International Competition

1983 - Gunther Schuller composes Sonata

1984 - William Albright Sonata written for Wytko, Sinta, and Hunter

1984 – William Bolcom composes Lilith

1984 – Philippe Hurel composes Opcit

1984 - Larry Teal dies

1984 - John Harle makes Carnegie Hall debut

1984 - William Bolcom composes Lilith

1985 - Paul Creston dies

1985 - Joe Lulloff makes Carnegie Hall debut

1985 - Laura Hunter premieres Albright Sonata

1985 - Steve Reich composes New York Counterpoint

1986 - Selmer S80 Series II introduced

1986 - Jean-Michel Goury leaves the CNM Landes and begins teaching at the Conservatoire National de Musique des Boulogne-Billancourt

1987 - Kenneth Radnofsky premieres Donald Martino's Concerto in New Hampshire

1987 - Morton Subotnick composes In Two Worlds
1987 - Premiere of Iannis Xenakis' XAS on November 17 1988 - Daniel Defayet leaves the Paris Conservatoire

1988 - Claude Delangle becomes Professor of Saxophone at the Paris Conservatory

1988 - John Sampen premieres Morton Subotnick's In Two Worlds in London

1988 – Christian Lauba composes Hard

1988 – Marilyn Shrude composes Renewing the Myth

1989 – Elliott Carter composes Canonic Suite

1989 – Yamaha begins production of the WX-7 midi wind controller

1989 – Franco Donatoni composes Hot

1990 - Premiere of Franco Donatoni's Rasch for saxophone quartet

1991 – Luciano Berio composes Canticum Novissimi testamenti for 8 voices, 4 saxes, 4 clarinets for the Rascher Quartet

1991 - Stan Getz dies

1992 – John Cage composes Four5 for John Sampen

1992 – John Jarbison composes San Antonio

1992 - Charles Wuorinen composes Saxophone Quartet

1993 - Charles Wuorinen composes a saxophone quartet Concerto

1993 - Timothy McAllister and Donell Synder share 1st Prize in the NASA Young Artist Competition, Fairfax, VA

1993 - Premiere of Luciano Berio's Sequenza VIIb
1994 - Taimur Sullivan wins 1st Prize in the NASA Young Artist

Competition, Morgantown, WV
1994 - John Harbisson composes
San Antonio
1994 - Christian Lauba composes Nuef Etudes starting in 1992
1994 - Adolphe Sax Competition winners: 1
st Vincent David, Fabrizio

Mancuso, Fabrice Moretti
1995 - Londeix performs farewell concert

1995 - Marie Bernadette Charrier succeeds Londeix at the Bourdeaux Conservatory

1995 - Arno Bornkamp begins teaching at Conservatorium van Amsterdam

1995 - Lennie Pickett named Musical Director of Saturday Night Live

1995 – Premiere of Franco Donatoni's Rasch II

1995 - Michael Colgrass composes Urban Requiem

1995 - Harrisson Birtwhistle's Panic is premiered at the BBC Proms

1995 – Philip Glass composes Concerto for saxophone quartet and orchestra

1996 – Premiere of Luciano Berio's Récit, Chemin VII by Claude Delangle

1996 - Panic by Sir Harrison Birtwistle is premiered by John Harle at the Last Night of the BBC Proms

1996 - Gerry Mulligan dies

1996 - Kevin Towner wins 1st Prize in the NASA Young Artist Competition at the 2nd Biennial NASA Conference

1997 - 11th World Saxophone Congress in Italy

1997 - Timothy McAllister makes Carnegie Hall debut as soloist for the University of Michigan Band Centennial Anniversary Tour

1997 - Chris Potter wins Jazz Par Prize
1997 - Joshua Redman wins Thelonious Monk Competition

1998 - 3rd Biennial Meeting of NASA, Scotty Stepp wins 1st Prize in NASA Young Artist Competition

1998 - William Albright dies
1998 - William Bolcom composes
Concert Suite

1998 - Adolphe Sax Competition winners: 1st Alexandre Doisy, 2nd Otis Murphy, 3rd Hiroshi Hara

1999 – Premiere of Grab It by Jacob ter Veldhuis

1999 - Concert Suite by William Bolcom is premiered by Donald Sinta

1999 - Timothy McAllister makes Carnegie Hall recital debut

1999 - Branford Marsalis releases Requiem

1999 - William Bolcom's Concerto Grosso (version with orchestra) premiered on October 20 by PRISM

2000 - Bernhard Heiden dies
2000 - 12th World Saxophone Congress in Montreal, Ontario, CANADA

2000 - 4th Biennial Meeting of NASA, Jacob Chmara wins 1st Prize in NASA Young Artist Competition

2000 - Gregory Wanamaker's Sonata deus sax machina is premiered by McAllister and pianist David Heinick at 12th World Congress

2000 - Eugene Rousseau retires from Indiana University, begins teaching at University of Minnesota

2000 - James Stoltie retires from The Crane School of Music as Dean

2000 - Jean-Marie Londeix: Master of the Modern Saxophone by James Umble is published

2001 – Georges Aperghis composes Alter Ego 2001 - Sigurd Rascher dies
2001 - Marcel Mule celebrates 100th birthday 2001 - Marcel Mule dies (December)

2001 - Joe Henderson dies

2001 - ninth circle saxophone quartet wins Grand Prize in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition

2001 - Otis Murphy appointed to the faculty of Indiana University

2001 - Timothy McAllister and Crane Wind Ensemble, Timothy Topolewski, cond., receive three first-round Grammy nominations for their recording of William Bolcom's Concert Suite

2001 - Chris Potter releases Gratitude

2002 - 5th Biennial Meeting of NASA, Robert White-Davis wins 1st Prize in NASA Young Artist Competition

2002 - Nick Brignola dies

2002 - America's Tribute to Adolphe Sax, Vols. 1-7 is released in box set. (AUR)

2002 – Adolphe Sax Competition winners: 1st Hiroshi Hara, Julien Petit, Antonio Felipe Belijar

2006 – Adolphe Sax Competition Winners: 1st Sergey Kolesov, Antonio Felipe Belijar, Takumi Kainuma

2007 - Michael Brecker dies January 13 in New York City
2008 - Eliot Gattegno wins the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the

Darmstadt Summer Course

2008 - Jeffrey Heisler gives the North American Premiere of Luciano Berio’s Recit (Chemins VII) with the Bowling Green State University Philharmonia

2008 - 2nd International Jean-Marie Londeix Competition winners – 1st Alexandre Doisy, 2nd Doug O'Connor, 3rd Miha Rogina

2009 - Jeffrey Heisler arranges and premieres Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint for saxophones

2010 - Adolphe Sax Competition winners: 1st Simon Diriq, 2nd Nikita Zimin, 3rd Alexandre Souillart

2011 - William Bolcom's Concerto Grosso (version with band) premiered on February 4 by the Donald Sinta Quartet

2011 - Branford Marsallis performs the Glazunnov Concerto with the Chicago Symphony

2011 - 3rd Londeix Competition winners - 1st Joshua Hyde, 2nd Michael Krenn, 3rd Noa Even

2012 - Fred Hemke retires from Northwestern University
2012 - Timothy McAllister begins teaching at Northwestern University

2012 - Ensemble Dal Niente (with saxophonist Ryan Muncy) wins the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Darmstadt Summer Course

2013 - Timothy McAllister premieres John Adams' Saxophone Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic

2013 - 1st International Saxophone Symposium and Competition (ISSAC) winners – 1st Zach Shemon, 2nd Jan Griar, 3rd Phil Pierick

2014 - Donald Sinta retires from the University of Michigan

2014 – Joseph Lulloff Premieres Steven Bryant’s Concerto for saxophone and wind band with the Michigan State University Wind Symphony

2014 - Timothy McAllister begins teaching at the University of Michigan

^Concert Artist's Guild Award Saxophonists – Harvey Pittel (1973), Rita Kneusel (1978), Laura Hunter (1980), John Harle (1983), Steven Jordheim (1984), Joe Lulloff (1984), New Century Saxophone Quartet (1992), Amstel Quartet (2006), Donald Sinta Quartet (2013)