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Dover Quartet
Steven Banks, saxophone

Friday July 21, 2023 at 8:00pm

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Friday July 21, 2023 at 8:00pm

The Dover Quartet returns to Caramoor with charismatic classical saxophonist, composer, and 2022 Avery Fisher Career Grant winner Steven Banks. In addition to Banks’ recent quintet, the program includes string quartets by Haydn, known as the “Father” of the form, William Grant Still, one of the foremost African American composers of the 20th century, and Dvořák, noted for employing the idioms of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia in his works.

7:00pm / Join us for a conversation with Steven Banks.

“Banks has the potential to be one of the transformational artists of the 21st century.”
Seen and Heard International

Steven Banks, saxophone
Dover Quartet
Joel Link, violin
Bryan Lee, violin
Hezekiah Leung, viola
Camden Shaw, cello

Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in E-flat Major, H.III: 38 (“The Joke”)
William Grant Still: Lyric String Quartette
Steven Banks: Cries, Signs, and Dreams
Antonín Dvořák: String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Op. 51

Learn More About the Artist

Dover Quartet

Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the Grammy-nominated Dover Quartet has followed a “practically meteoric” (Strings Magazine) trajectory to become one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world. In addition to its faculty role as the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Dover Quartet holds residencies with the Kennedy Center, Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Artosphere, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. The group’s awards include a stunning sweep of all prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Its prestigious honors include the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, and Lincoln Center’s Hunt Family Award. 

The Dover Quartet’s 2022–23 season includes collaborations with Edgar Meyer, Joseph Conyers, and Haochen Zhang. The group tours Europe twice, including a return to London’s renowned Wigmore Hall and a debut performance in Copenhagen. The quartet recently premiered Steven Mackey’s theatrical-musical work Memoir, alongside arx duo and actor-narrator Natalie Christa. Other recent and upcoming artist collaborations include Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnaton, Ray Chen, the Escher String Quartet, Bridget Kibbey, Anthony McGill, the Pavel Haas Quartet, Roomful of Teeth, the late Peter Serkin, and Davóne Tines. In addition to two previous albums for the label, Cedille Records released the third volume of the Dover Quartet’s Beethoven Complete String Quartets recording in October 2022. The quartet’s recording of The Schumann Quartets for Azica Records was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2020. The Dover Quartet was formed in 2008 at the Curtis Institute of Music. In 2013-14, the Dover Quartet was the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at Caramoor. 

To learn more about the Dover Quartet, please visit their website. (https://www.doverquartet.com

Steven Banks, alto saxophone

Winner of the prestigious 2022 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Steven Banks is an ambassador for the classical saxophone, establishing himself as both a compelling and charismatic soloist, dedicated to showcasing the vast capabilities of the instrument, as well as an advocate for expanding its repertoire. Steven is also the first saxophonist to capture First Prize at the Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions (2019). He was also recently chosen to join WQXR’s 2022 Artist Propulsion Lab, a program designed to advance the careers of artists and support the future of classical music.  

He has recently appeared as concerto soloist under the direction of Peter Oundjian, first at the Colorado Music Festival in performances of works by Glazunov and Ibert, and later with the Colorado Symphony, performing John Adams’ Concerto. He also recently appeared with The Cleveland Orchestra in Philip Glass’ Façades with John Adams at the podium.  

Banks performs at universities, performing arts series, and festivals across the United States and abroad, and he is also an emerging composer. This season, he premieres an original composition for alto saxophone and string quartet in Carnegie Hall alongside the Borromeo String Quartet. He has also recently completed commissions for the Project 14 initiative at Yale University and the Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble. 

An emerging composer, the music of Steven Banks showcases “a unique and ambitious blend of feelings and sounds” and portrays “a deep intimacy” and “a sense of vulnerability” (Cleveland Classical). Banks’ original composition for alto saxophone and string quartet titled Cries, Sighs, and Dreams premiered at Carnegie Hall alongside the Borromeo String Quartet and was performed again this past summer at the Aspen Music Festival and School. He has also recently completed commissions for the Project 14 initiative at Yale University and the Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble.  

Banks is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in music education, performance, and newly commissioned works in the classical realm. He spoke at the TEDxNorthwesternU 2017 conference on how to create change in institutionalized prejudices against women and people of color and has written and given guest lectures on the history of black classical composers. 

Banks earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Saxophone Performance with a minor in Jazz Studies from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. He is an endorsing artist for Conn-Selmer instruments, D’Addario Woodwinds, lefreQue Sound Solutions, and Key Leaves. 

To learn more about Steven Banks, please visit his website. (http://steven-banks.com

This concert was made possible, in part, thanks to the generous support of The Amphion Foundation and The Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation.

Health & Safety / We’re committed to maintaining the health and safety of our audience, artists, and staff, while ensuring that every visit to Caramoor is comfortable and enjoyable. Click here for more information and up-to-date health and safety policies.

Caramoor is proud to be a grantee of ArtsWestchester with funding made possible by Westchester County government with the support of County Executive George Latimer.
All concerts made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.