In March 2022, the Arcis Saxophone Quartet gave a performance at the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi. The Munich-based group of instrumentalists is made up of Claus Hierluksch, who plays the soprano saxophone, Edoardo Zotti, who plays the tenor saxophone, Ricarda Fuss on the alto saxophone and Jure Knez on the baritone saxophone.
After an opening address delivered by the German Consul General, Holger Ziegeler, the Arcis Saxophone Quartet began their performance with a rendition of the national anthems of Germany and Pakistan. Highlights of the concert included renditions of Shostakovich’s ‘Suite for Jazz’ and a section of music from Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story’. The latter was so well received that the audience enjoyed clapping along to the beat in unison with the sax players, who were creating the rhythm by stamping their feet on the stage.
In between pieces one of the four musicians from the Quartet would take the microphone to talk about the history of the saxophone or the composer whose work they were about the perform.
The Road to Karachi
After hearing and being captivated by their music on the radio, Holger Ziegeler became a champion of the group, offering collaboration and support to help them perform in locations all over the world. After their performance in Karachi, the Arcis Saxophone Quartet also gave a concert in Lahore, and their tour in Pakistan was supported by the German Embassy and the German Consulate in collaboration with various local performance spaces.
The History of the Arcis Saxophone Quartet
In 2008, Claus Hierluksch and Ricarda Fuss formed the band when the pair were studying together. Originally joined by two other members who have now left the group, Edoardo Zotti and Jure Knez joined in 2015.
During the pandemic the Arcis Saxophone Quartet needed to adapt how it delivered live performances; however, what has remained constant is the group’s belief that music can be used to bridge the gap between different cultures.
The band practice together five times a week for four hours at a time, as well as practicing separately, and the musicians are committed to continuing to experiment with both old and new sounds to create unique-sounding saxophone music. Each of the members are full time musicians. As Knez says: ‘This is the only work that we do, and we love what we do.’
For more information about the Arcis Saxophone Quartet, take a look at the embedded PDF.