Arts Performing Arts

Calefax Reed Quintet Set to Perform March 11 in Asheville

Calefax Reed Quintet. Photo by Jochem Sanders

By Natasha Anderson

The Asheville Chamber Music Series (ACMS) presents the Calefax Reed Quintet in concert Friday, March 11, at 8 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville. Calefax is a close-knit ensemble of five musicians who are inventors of an entirely new genre: the reed quintet.

“When you ask fans what draws them to chamber music, invariably they mention the incredible variety of instrumental combinations that are possible, and the opportunities for composers to explore a wide variety of compositional techniques,” says ACMS programming committee chair Polly Feitzinger. “Having a reed quintet with the musicians themselves transcribing works is interesting since it demands knowledge of what compositions would particularly fit this combination.”

For 35 years Calefax Reed Quintet has been acclaimed in the Netherlands and abroad for their virtuosic playing, brilliant arrangements and innovative stage presentation. They provide inspiration to young wind players from all over the world who follow in their footsteps. With an adventurous approach to presenting programs and a repertoire ranging from the year 1100 to the present day, the ensemble performs their own arrangements and newly commissioned compositions for oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bass clarinet and bassoon. Calefax is open to the influence of world music, jazz and improvisation as a result of countless international tours and collaborations with all kinds of musicians.

The concert program includes Antonín Dvorák’s String Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 97, Harry Thacker Burleigh’s Southland Sketches, Samuel Barber’s Excursions, Op. 20, and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

“ACMS looks forward to hearing this wide range of works from Dvorák’s Romantic composition to Samuel Barber’s contemporary piece, and the highlight for many—Rhapsody in Blue,” says Feitzinger.

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville is located at 1 Edwin Place, in Asheville. Tickets are $40 general admission. Youth are admitted free. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit, call 828.575.7427 or email

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