Nowadays saxophone is mainly associated with jazz, although this musical instrument once used to be a fully acknowledged member of symphony orchestras. In Eastern Europe and America classical saxophone music has been developing steadily from the beginning of 19th century, even today hundreds of composers compose classical saxophone quartet pieces. The Budapest Saxophone Quartet (= BSQ) is the first and only representative of this musical genre in Hungary. The Quartet was formed for the purpose of raising awareness for, popularising and spreading high-standard classical saxophone music in Hungary.
The Budapest Saxophone Quartet was formed in 1995. The members of the Quartet are graduate and undergraduate students of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest, Hungary: Bence Szepesi, Levente Puskás, Bernát Tószegi, Marcell Horváth.
The BSQt regularly gives concerts both in Hungary and abroad. The BSQ is regularly invited to give concerts at well-known places of Budapest while giving concerts-series in the country, as well. The ensemble regularly receives invitations to the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hungarian Television and Radio Orchestra, the Hungarian State Opera House, and has given solo-concerts with the Dohnányi Erno Symphony Orchestra, the MÁV Symphony Orchestra and the Winds Orchestra of the Weiner Leó Conservatoire.
In the past years the BSQ has given numerous concerts in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, as well as participated in festivals (E.g.: International Winds festival, Austria, 1998; 2nd World Meeting of Saxophonists, Slovenia, 1998, National Saxophonist Meeting, Pomáz, 1997, 1998) and international competitions.
In 1996 the BSQ won 1st prize at the performing Competition of the Academy of Music, Budapest; in 1998 summer they have been awarded special price at the Music Festival in Austria; in 1998 winter won 4th prize at the 18th International Chamber Music Competition in Trapani, Italy, and 3rd prize at the 14th International Music Contest in Caltanissetta, Italy.
Since its formation the members of the BSQt have taken part in master-courses (Michiel Oldenkamp / Holland, Jean-Pierre Baraglioli / France, Eugene Rousseau / USA, Oto Vhrovnik / Austria) and have been recorded many times on television and in radio. Their first CD, "From Baroque to Jazz", appeared in 1998. The BSQ is working on its prospective CD’s as well as appears on other CD’s with different ensembles.
Beyond the original classical pieces for saxophone quartets, the broad repertoire of the NSQ embraces Baroque and jazz transcriptions, works by contemporary Hungarian and foreign composers, even evergreen songs and today's hits. Several well-known Hungarian and foreign composers compose musical pieces for them. World premiéres of pieces specially written for the Quartet are: Gyorgy Vukán's Concerto (accompanied by symphony orchestra,1997), Frigyes Hidas' Concerto (accompanied by wind and symphony orchestras, 1998), Gergely Vajda's Turning (1998), Balázs Horváth’s: Motorway-Junction (1996).