School of Music
Lawrence Gwozdz, Saxophonist
Professor of Saxophone
School of Music
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5081 USA
Telephone (601) 266-6934; Fax (601) 266-6427
B.M.E., State University of New York, Fredonia
M.M., University of Nebraska
D.M.A., University of Iowa
Sample the music:
Beyond These Hills, from "An
Meditation from 'Thais',
from "Rascher International"
Claremont Concerto mvt. III,
from "American Concerto Tribute"
Sonata for alto saxophone and
piano (S. Dankner), from "Simply Gifts":
Handel, Flute Sonata No. 1, mvt. II, from "Special Hand'ling"
from Concertos for Saxophone (MMO)
Video link: Eccles: Sonata
Born to Polish-American parents in
Niagara Falls, New York, Lawrence Gwozdz has achieved an international
reputation for his success in revealing the qualities inherent in the classic
saxophone as intended originally by its inventor, Adolphe Sax.
Lawrence Gwozdz's concerts have included major
cities in Asia, Europe and North America: Beijing, Chicago, Leipzig, London,
Los Angeles, Manchester, New York, Prague, St. Louis, Warsaw, Xi-an, Zagreb,
Zurich, and others. His festival appearances - the Menuhin Festival,
the International Chamber Music Festival of le Touquet, Spoleto USA - have
received critical acclaim. European reviews declare, "Gwozdz is a
most highly versed soloist" (Neue Zürcher Nachrichten), with
"amazing technique and tonal beauty" (Bündner
Zeitung). His performance with I Solisti di Zagreb motivated
the press to write, "Gwozdz uses his instrument with superiority and virtuosity"
His debut in
New York's Weill (Carnegie) Recital Hall was
described in Musical America as an "extraordinary performance of
contemporary music" with "the kind of timbre Adolphe Sax most likely had
in mind ... always with subtlety and taste" (The New York Concert Review).
On television Gwozdz appeared with famed organist Diane Bish on "The Joy
of Music", and has performed concerti and recitals on radio for the Dame
Myra Hess series (Public Radio International), Czech Radio-Prague, Croatian
Radio, Minnesota Public Radio, and other networks.
His CD, "An
American Tribute to Sigurd Rascher" (Crystal
Records) has won high praise from critics. American Record Guide
wrote, "The sound is first-class ... Lovers of the saxophone will be pleased;"
the reviewer in Fanfare penned, "It would be impossible to praise the performers
too highly. Lawrence Gwozdz is an extraordinary saxophonist, bringing
out a tremendous range of colors and effects in his instrument. I
absolutely guarantee that you will enjoy it." Albany
Records has just released his four new CDs, "Rascher
American Concerto Tribute," with the
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, "Simply
and the Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra with The Louisiana Philharmonic
Orchestra on the CD "Hurricane!".
His latest solo release is entitled "Special
Hand'ling" (Roméo Records, distributed by Qualiton Imports).
Gwozdz has also recorded "Glazunov
and Erland von Koch: Concerti" with the Plovdiv Philharmonic, Nayden
Todorov conducting. This recording was released by Music Minus One MMOMUS@aol.com
Gwozdz is also
known for his annotated translation of the German book, Das Saxophon
by Jaap Kool (Egon Pub., Baldock, England). Various composers - Samuel
Adler, Walter Hartley, Zdenek Lukas, Armand Russell, Robert Starer, Roger
Vogel, John Worley, and others - have dedicated new works to him.
of Saxophone at the University of Southern Mississippi, he has established
a studio that continues to receive worldwide attention. His student
soloists, quartets, and the Sax-Chamber Orchestra
have performed by invitation in major cities - Atlanta, Birmingham, Kansas
City, Memphis, Montreal, Nashville, New Orleans, Washington, DC (the
Kennedy Center) - and for major music organizations, such as the College
Music Society, the Music Teachers National Association, the Music Educators
National Conference, and the World Saxophone Congress.
Having been born with spina bifida, Gwozdz is also
an advocate for arts for the handicapped and Very Special Arts. He
is also active in the Campus Crusade for Christ's Christian
Faculty/Staff Forum and freely shares his story.
Gwozdz has studied
saxophone with Ronald Tyree, Robert Fought, Laurence Wyman, and the renowned
artists Sigurd Rascher and Jean-Marie Londeix. His degrees include
the DMA from the University of Iowa, the MM from the University of Nebraska,
and the BME from Fredonia State University College of New York.
- "Lawrence Gwozdz quite justly is hailed internationally as a renowned, illustrious saxophone virtuoso and a sensitive musician."
~ RUCH MUZYCZNY (POLAND)
- "There was a distinguished soloist, Lawrence Gwozdz. Bestowed with immense sensitivity, the saxophone virtuoso produced deep, individual creativity. Not only were the joking, fragments of colossal agility imagined warmly, but the resonant tones from his instrument produced lovely, singing passages, embracing aural reflections."
~ GAZETA WYBORCZA (POLAND)
"Performances are all of a high caliber … beguiling … marvelously powerful in its simple lyric elegance … “
~ MICHAEL BARONE (MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO
"Saxophonist Lawrence Gwozdz drew a standing
ovation for his extraordinary performance of contemporary music ..."
~ MUSICAL AMERICA
"Gwozdz plays with a soft, mellow, fluently
articulate tone. He has developed the altissimo register into a fine art,
transforming the saxophone into a new and even more vibrant instrument
... superb saxophonist Lawrence Gwozdz has one of the finest alto saxophone
sounds since his mentor, the legendary Sigurd Rascher. His tone and technical
ability complement each other perfectly - luscious, chocolate sound, and
immaculate technique ... "
~ AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
"It would be impossible to praise the performers
too highly. Lawrence Gwozdz is an extraordinary saxophonist, bringing out
a tremendous range of colors and effects in his instrument ... American
saxophonist Lawrence Gwozdz can well look after himself, and he performs
the technical aspects with suitable brio. He can also provide any amount
of sugar-and-cream tone ... the most refined quality."
"... smooth, even tone and cultivated vibrato,
the kind of timbre Adolphe Sax most likely had in mind ... always with
subtlety and taste."
~THE NEW YORK CONCERT REVIEW
"... a most highly versed soloist ..."
~ NEUE ZÜRCHER NACHRICHTEN
"... virtuosic and mature performance ...
very impressively and sensitively recited."
~ DAS ORCHESTER
"... never has ‘classical music' sounded so
sexy. And talk about an instrument with a range of expression ...
heart-wrenchingly gorgeous. In my next life, I want to be a saxophone."
~ CLASSICAL disCDigest
"Now that is the way it is supposed to be
done! The artist has a dark, rich sound, quite supple and totally under
control. Mr. Gwozdz's fluency and accuracy in the extended range is incredible
... The lyricism that Lawrence Gwozdz spins into the melodic lines is pure
magic that embraces and totally surrounds the listener's imagination."
~THE SAXOPHONE JOURNAL
"The melody of the saxophone with its characteristic
softness, charm and romance intoxicated the audience. In Gwozdz's performance
there seemed to be hundreds of thousands of amorous feelings; and in its
abundant contemporary colors, there were rich classical 'flavors', giving
the audience a lasting 'aftertaste'."
~XI'AN EVENING NEWS (CHINA)
"Here are vigorous, clean lines radiantly
played by Gwozdz ... glowingly realized ..."
~20th CENTURY MUSIC
"The interpreter mastered the finger-breaking
passages and already could prove his high standards. A soft, subtle
tone that was especially captivating through its cantabile was his trademark.
It was an excellent concert full of surprises."
~ KÖLNER STADT ANZEIGE
"... incredible precision and seriousness
... The performance was full of excitement and melodramatic."
"With a lively, expressive and very personal
manner, Lawrence Gwozdz and his excellent accompanist were able to render
the "hot off the press" compositions with a special intensity. They managed
to arouse not only lively interest in their music, and recognized admiration,
but also thrilling, new dimensions of experiencing music."
~RHEIN SIEG RUNDSCHAU (BONN)
"... amazing technique and tonal beauty ..."
"With I Solisti di Zagreb, Gwozdz performed
with superiority and virtuosity."
~ VJESNIK, ZAGREB
"... a lovely, refined tone with a soft, controlled
vibrato ... first-quality soloist."
~ NOVÝ HLAS, CZECH REPUBLIC
"Gwozdz is a pupil of Sigurd Rascher, which
is easily heard as his playing is beautifully in the tradition."
"Very smooth and facile playing ... the saxophone
at its best."
~ CASS JOURNAL, AUSTRALIA
"The Psalm of praise comes to mind: ‘The Lord
is my shepherd ... He leadeth me by still waters.' I also think of the
eyes of the chosen maiden, ‘deeper than the blue of the calm waters in
the evening.' That is due to Lawrence Gwozdz ... Superb tone quality--sweet,
consistent, and full."
~ LES ECHOS DU TOUQUET (PARIS-PLAGE)
"Gwozdz plays with such subtlety, refinement,
and control that the sound emerges as quite beautifully expressive ...
he keeps his formidable technique completely in the service of the music."
"... excitingly played ... unusually rewarding."
"Fire fingers seemed quite effortless ...
~ RICHMOND NEWS LEADER
are first rate. Lawrence Gwozdz's performance is truly a tribute
to Sigurd Rascher."
~ NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGE WIND/PERCUSSION INSTRUCTORS JOURNAL
"Gwozdz captured the audience's attention
with the musical acrobatics of the first two movements and astounded his
rapt listeners with a soulful and hypnotic ballad leading into the rousing
finale [of the Idlewood Concerto]. The velvet tones exuding from
his 24-carat gold plated instrument evoked all members of the musical family
... a colorful splash ... introspective interpretations ..."
~ ALBANY HERALD
" ... a lovely, clear tone that was modified
by a smooth, well-controlled vibrato ... played soulfully."
~CHARLESTON EVENING POST
" ... dramatic and emotively colorful ..."
~CHARLESTON NEWS AND COURIER
" ... top-notch premiere ... The sax becomes
the voice of the angel, singing a sweet, siren-like song ... simply lovely
... breathtaking high notes ... played with verve ..."
~ THE TIMES-PICAYUNE (NEW ORLEANS)
"Lawrence Gwozdz was absolutely marvelous,
like a soft-shoe dancer his sonorous sounds glided along gracefully ...
effortless, clear playing."
~ THE NEW LONDON DAY
"... luxurious tone and supreme musicianship
... His attention to detail is arresting. Gwozdz has the ability
to coax just the right sound, volume and degree of expression out of every
note he plays. If velvet has a sound, Gwozdz could patent it."
~ PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL
"Gwozdz revealed himself to be a true master
of the saxophone ... sensitive and technically brilliant performance."
~ THE MERIDIAN STAR
"His silken smooth sound, technique, and phrasing
reminded us of his former teacher, virtuoso Sigurd Rascher."
~ ADVANCE MAGAZINE
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Created 1 May 1998 | Updated 6 August