Kenneth Tse

"...Whose Very Sound is Captivating"

Kenneth Tse has long been recognized as one of the world’s preeminent figures in the field of classical saxophone, captivating audiences worldwide with his deft technical prowess and enchanting sound. He burst onto the musical scene in 1996 as the winner of the New York Artists International Award and The Alex Award from the National Alliance for Excellence. Both awards led to highly acclaimed performances at New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall. The New York Times hailed him as "a young virtuoso.” Since then, Tse has amassed a multitude of accolades and has performed as a soloist on five continents. He has graced the stage with renowned orchestras and concert bands such as the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra, Thailand Philharmonic, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Slovenian Army Band, Symphonic Wind Orchestra of Croatian Army forces, the United States Navy Band, et. al. Tse is a sought-after artist and clinician at major events like the World Saxophone Congress, the North American Saxophone Alliance National Conference, the California Band Directors’ Association, the Iowa Bandmaster’s Association, and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinics.

A prolific recording artist, Tse has curated an extensive discography of twenty-three CDs, showcasing a diverse range of saxophone repertoire. Critics hail his "captivating" sound, "supremely elegant tone…sheer virtuosity," and “incredible technical and interpretive skills…. A master magician,” acknowledging his mastery as a saxophonist.   His commitment to new music is evident with over forty works dedicated to him by esteemed composers worldwide. Recently, he commissioned a concerto for saxophone and orchestra by renowned composer Lowell Liebermann for premiere in the spring of 2025. As a devoted music educator, Tse has shared his expertise through masterclasses at prestigious institutions globally, including the Paris Conservatory, the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory, the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia.   Moreover, his influence extends to the judging panel of international competitions, representing the USA at events like the Adolphe Sax International Competition in Dinant, Belgium, and the Andorra SaxFest Competition.

His arrangements for the saxophone are published by Reed Music, Australia, and his articles and interviews have been featured in the Saxophone Journal, The Instrumentalist, Fanfare Magazine, Saxophone Symposium, Iowa Bandmaster Association Journal, Japan’s Piper and The Sax Magazines, and Yamaha Support Education Magazine. Season 3 of online courses the Adlibitum Class will showcase instructional episodes for saxophone by Tse. Beyond his musical achievements, Tse's commitment to fostering saxophone performance in his native Hong Kong led to the creation of the Hong Kong International Saxophone Symposium. This groundbreaking event, which he initiated in 2009, attracted saxophonists from around the world and has evolved into the Hong Kong International Saxophone Society, a platform to nurture interest in classical saxophone performance in the region.

Kenneth Tse's journey is characterized by artistic excellence, dedication to pedagogy, and a profound impact on the world of classical saxophone. His legacy continues to inspire both aspiring musicians and seasoned professionals alike. In addition to his illustrious performing career, Tse was honored by being named a University of Iowa Distinguished Chair Professor of Saxophone in 2024. His students have earned acclaim in top-tier academic positions, in international competitions, and on recordings, showcasing the impact of his mentorship. In over two decades in Iowa, Tse has fostered a strong musical community across the state. As part of this initiative, he hosted the inaugural Iowa Saxophone United Event, which gathered college-level saxophonists from programs throughout Iowa for masterclasses and performances. His studio has also cultivated an outreach program in recent years that brings live performances on-site to residents at assisted living facilities, retirement communities, and developmentally disabled homes to better serve the needs of the community. Along with this, Tse has created a high school summer saxophone institute for youth across the country on the University of Iowa campus and teaches college students at the American Saxophone Academy in the summers as well.  He currently serves as an advisor for the nonprofit organization IOWinds Alliance, with a mission to further promote and elevate the quality of music education for young wind and brass players around the state. Notably, Tse has achieved the remarkable distinction of being the first saxophonist to hold concurrent, elected presidencies in both the North American Saxophone Alliance and the International Saxophone Committee.

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