Music for Saxophone and Piano

François Rossé

ADAM ESTES, saxophone

Stacy Rodgers, piano



"Adam Estes's tribute to Francois Rossé is a brilliant demonstration by the composer's best champion of just how comprehensively Adolphe Sax's baby has grown up... The fact that Estes' playing has been informed not only by his own outstanding chops but by his interviews with Rossé, with whom he has collaborated on a number of compositions, and his developing his own études for budding young saxophonists who want to play Rossé's music, makes the performances authoritative."
Laurence Vittes, Gramophone [May 2018]
"Rossé wants to open listeners’ ears to new sounds, as do many contemporary composers... their pieces are performed [with] commitment by saxophonist Adam Estes and pianists Stacy Rodgers and Amanda Johnson."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [February 2018]
The saxophone music of French composer François Rossé (b. 1945) breaks with traditional styles by embracing a contemporary musical language heavily reliant upon extended techniques for the instrument. Rossé is one of a number of compelling avant-garde composers writing music that demands both contemporary knowledge and training. I have devoted much of my creative energy to exploring Rossé’s music; interviewing the composer and collaborating closely with him on a number of compositions, as well as developing pedagogy so that I can better assist musicians to perform this dramatic and demanding music with fluency, clarity, and understanding. I hope that as this music becomes more fully integrated into the saxophone repertoire, familiarity will allow audiences to experience the expressive power of these unique compositions.

Adam Estes is assistant professor of music at the University of Mississippi, where he teaches saxophone and bassoon, coaches woodwind chamber ensembles and teaches woodwinds methods courses. Most recently, he was assistant professor at Minot State University. Formerly a band director in the public schools in Mason, Texas, Estes has also held posts as visiting professor of saxophone at Furman University and the University of South Carolina, as well as instructorships at Presbyterian College and the South Carolina Governors School for the Arts and Humanities. Estes is a founding member of the Assembly Saxophone Quartet, and maintains an active performance schedule as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician. He has been the principal bassoonist with the Western Plains Opera Company and the Minot Symphony Orchestra, and has been a regular substitute bassoonist and saxophonist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, South Carolina Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Augusta Symphony Orchestra. His performing career has taken him to venues in Scotland, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, France and Belgium. Estes holds graduate degrees from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Tarleton State University. His primary teachers were Clifford Leaman, Greg Ball, Peter Kolkay, Carol Lowe and Douglas Graham. Dr. Estes is a Yamaha Performing Artist, performing exclusively on Yamaha saxophones. He has previously released recordings on Albany Records and AMP Recordings.

Stacy Rodgers is professor of music at the University of Mississippi where he is head of keyboard studies and collaborative piano. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and a Master’s degree in piano pedagogy and literature at the University of Texas in Austin. Rodgers teaches piano performance, piano literature, private lesson and group piano pedagogy, accompanying, chamber music, theory and history. He performs frequently with his wife, Diane Wang, as a piano duo and four-hand team, and with faculty colleagues from all performance areas. In the national circuit, Rodgers has performed with Kallen Esperian, members of the New York Philharmonic, University of Michigan wind faculty, Scott St. John, Rolf Smedvig, and others. The range of his chamber repertoire is impressive, encompassing nearly 500 works for solo instrument and piano, multiple pianos with or without orchestra, piano trios, quartets, quintets and mixed ensembles. Rodgers appears frequently at various regional, national and international conferences, presenting programs of significant 20th century compositions as well as new unpublished works by young American composers. Most recently he appeared at the 50th anniversary national conference of the College Music Society held in Salt Lake City, performing Leonard Bernstein’s last major work, Arias and Barcarolles for mezzo soprano, baritone and piano four-hands. He has released recordings on Centaur and Albany Records.

Collaborative pianist Amanda Johnston maintains an active performance schedule in the United States, Canada and Europe, and has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council for her work in the field. Currently associate professor of music at the University of Mississippi, she is music director and vocal coach for the Opera Theatre, teaches courses in advanced diction and collaborative piano, and coaches at the undergraduate and graduate level. Johnston is also on faculty at Musiktheater Bavaria and Druid City Opera Workshop in Alabama. Johnston has also given master classes in voice and collaborative piano at the University of South Dakota, Harding University and University of Nevada, and in Canada at Queen’s University and the Royal Conservatory of Music. She held previous faculty appointments at the University of Toronto, Royal Conservatory of Music, York University, Taos Opera Institute and Lied Austria in Leibnitz. Her research on comparative diction and lesser-known composers of German lied has been presented at national conferences held by the College Music Society, National Association of Teachers of Singing, National Opera Association, The Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium and Song Collaborators Consortia. She is author of a highly acclaimed book on the topic, English and German Diction for Singers: A Comparative Approach. Johnston has also studied and performed at the Franz-Schubert-Institut, Académie Francis Poulenc, Académie internationale d’Été, Oxenfoord International Summer School and the Aspen Music Festival. She was educated at Queen’s University, Hochschule für Musik “Franz Liszt” and Janácek Academy of Music. In 2012, she released her debut CD [MSR Classics: MS1402] in collaboration with mezzo-soprano Julia Morgan of Gustav Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder..
Nishi Asakusa (2004)
Løbuk Constrictor (1989)
Seaodie I (1989)
Seaodie II (1989)
Jonction (2008)
La main dans le souffle (1999)
Sonates en arcs (1986)
Le Frêne égaré (1979)

MSR Classics