Biography

Celebrated for its artistry, virtuosity, and exquisitely blended sound, the ANCIA Saxophone Quartet has delighted audiences throughout North America, Europe, and Asia for more than a quarter century.  ANCIA (pronounced AHN-chee-uh) was founded in 1990, and has been joyfully transporting audiences across time and genre, performing repertoire that spans centuries and musical styles, including Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century, contemporary, jazz, popular, and music from a broad range of world cultures. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the ANCIA Saxophone Quartet is an Artist-Clinician Ensemble for Selmer Saxophones and Vandoren Woodwind Products.

Dedicated to the creation and performance of new works for saxophone quartet, ANCIA works in collaboration with composers to premiere, perform, and record the music of our time.  The group’s passion for contemporary music pervades its critically heralded CD “Short Stories,” which features the title work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon. In 2015, ANCIA commissioned and performed the world premiere of Libby Larsen’s saxophone quartet, Confluence, at the World Saxophone Congress XVII in Strasbourg, France and presented the United States premiere in the Twin Cities in May, 2016. To celebrate and discuss this exciting new work and its environmental theme,  ANCIA was brought in-studio at Performance Today for a special Earth Day radio and online feature, including an interview with Fred Child and live performances.

ANCIA was recently selected as the feature group for the 2017 American Composers Forum Showcase Concert. ANCIA is frequently featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, Minnesota Public Radio’s Regional Spotlight, and Wisconsin Public Radio’s Live at the Chazen. Recent concert highlights include the Concrete and Grass Festival, the Twin Cities Winter Jazz Festival and “Rock the Ordway,” the opening concerts in the new hall at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. ANCIA has been featured in concerto performances performing Philip Glass’ Concerto for Saxophone Quartet with the Wayzata Symphony Orchestra, and William Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso with the Bloomington Symphony.

ANCIA has been the recipient of numerous national, regional, and local grants and awards, including recent awards from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Community Arts grants in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.  ANCIA has collaborated with composers through Society of Composers, Meet the Composer, American Composers Forum, and THE Commission Project.  

Individually, ANCIA members are active soloists, chamber musicians, and professional saxophonists in a broad range of musical genres, including work in classical chamber, orchestral, jazz, national touring Broadway productions, and contemporary popular idioms. ANCIA members hold degrees from Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, Ithaca College, New England Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University, Indiana University, and St. Olaf College.  As dedicated teachers, ANCIA members serve as saxophone artist-teachers at Augsburg College, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and have presented masterclasses, workshops, and educational performances in the USA, Europe and Asia.

ANCIA members are: Matthew Sintchak, soprano saxophone; Joan Hutton, alto saxophone; David Milne, tenor saxophone; Angela Wyatt, baritone saxophone.

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