Tryon Concert Association presents Calefax Reed Quintet

Published 12:40 pm Thursday, March 21, 2024

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Tryon Concert Association presents the acclaimed Calefax Reed Quintet in TCA’s final concert of its 2023-2024 season. The concert will take place at the Tryon Fine Arts Center on Monday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m.

The Times of London has called Calefax members “five extremely gifted Dutch gents who almost made the reed quintet seem the best musical format on the planet.” Calefax musicians are known for their virtuosity, creativity and originality, and their performances demonstrate the complex interactions among the members and audiences. Calefax has a flair for “uncovering hidden treasures” and creating “the most wonderful combinations of sounds” (Frits van der Waa).

Calefax musicians early determined that music for reed quintets was rare, and solo music for each instrument individually was often second rate. Raaf Hekkema and Jelte Althuis, saxophone and bass clarinet, respectively, have spent years taking the best of music written for other instruments and re-working it into a format all their own. The audience at this concert will hear many familiar works played in an original and unfamiliar way.

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The ensemble has won awards and recognition from many institutions. In 1997, the group won the Philip Morris Arts Prize, and, in 2001, the Kersjes van de Groenekan Prize. Other awards include the 2005 VSCD Classical Music Award and the 2012 German Junge Ohren Prize for the family musical show “De Muziekfabriek.” 

Calefax has performed throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the United States. The ensemble has also collaborated with many well-known musicians, including pianists Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Ivo Janssen, Louis van Dijk and Michael Braam; violinists Liza Ferschtman and Claude Chalhoub; and vocalists Christianne Stotijn, Helena Rasker, Nora Fischer and Denise Jannah. 

Their discography is extensive: the soundtrack for the Dutch film De Nieuwe Wildernis and eighteen recordings for the PENTATONE, MDG, AND RIOJA labels, including Bach’s Goldberg Variations and collections of jazz and improvisation. Their nineteenth compact disc, “Dido & Aneazz,” with trumpeter Eric Vloeimans, is a re-composition of Henry Purcell’s opera and flows from baroque to jazz, calypso and klezmer.

This concert will feature music by J. S. Bach, César Franck, Jean-Féry Rebel, Claude Debussy, Conlon Nancarrow, Antonin Dvořák and George Gershwin. All pieces are arranged for reed quintet by Raff Hekkema or Jelte Althuis.


For information about this and other Tryon Concert Association concerts, visit


Submitted by Anne De Sutter