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The World Saxophone Congress XVI proudly recognizes the 100th birthday of American composer John Cage. A 20th-century icon, Cage questioned and challenged the fundamental definition of music and ultimately helped pioneer an expanded global concept of music in the modern world. Cage writes that whether I make them or not, there are always sounds to be heard and all sounds are excellent. Everything we do is music.
John Sampen and Marilyn Shrude (Bowling Green State University) and Rob Haskins (University of New Hampshire) have prepared an historical overview of the life and works of John Cage through personal anecdotes, video clips, photos, recordings, theoretical writings and analytical data. Written during the last six years of his life, the forty-eight compositions known as the Number Pieces (often with precisely defined pitches and earthquake proof time brackets) are of particular interest to saxophonists. Four 5 for saxophone ensemble was premiered at the World Saxophone Congress X in Pesaro, Italy shortly after the composers death in 1992. We are happy to present this work 20 years later in St. Andrews, Scotland.