Known for their energy and bold innovation, the four members of Quasar have been exploring the innumerable facets of musical creation since the group's founding in 1994. The group's ventures include instrumental music, improvisation, and electronics. Alone or accompanied by a symphony orchestra, acoustic or plugged, Quasar offers its audience a unique and deeply original programming.

The ensemble has won 6 OPUS awards awarded by the Conseil québécois de la musique, including the "Artist of the Year" prize. Quasar presents a series of concerts in Montreal while performing extensively across Canada, Mexico, the United States and Europe. It has been invited by international festivals such as : Busan Maru (Korea), Ars Musica (Brussels), SALT Festival (Victoria), Tonlagen (Dresden).

A real driving force of creative music, the quartet works closely with composers favouring research, experimentation and the emergence of new ideas. 

Quasar aims to contribute to the enrichment of our musical heritage and to provide a platform for new music experimentation, exploration and production. The quartet has proudly commissioned over 150 works over the course of its twenty years of activity.  During that time, it has performed as a solo group with, among others, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Hanzhou Philharmonic Orchestra.

 Quasar, in addition to being very involved in the creation of new works, also presents a very diversified repertoire ranging from classical music to jazz, allowing the group to fully demonstrate the saxophone's multiple facets. These concerts provide a stimulating and most interesting way of reaching out to the public.

Quasar is a member of Le Vivier, a grouping of ensembles and organizations working in new music , with a goal to establish a venue for creation, exchange and training in the heart of Montreal.

Quasar

The Musicians

Soprano saxophone, artistic director
Alto saxophone, administrative director
Tenor saxophone
Barytone saxophone, operations director

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

  • Performer of the year

  • Concert of the year new music, electroacoustics: Électro Energico

  • Premiere of the Year: La plénitude du vide by Jean-François Laporte

  • Concert of the year new music, electroacoustics: Électrochocs



20 YEARS CHANNELLING INSPIRATION

Acclaimed for its high energy and boldness, Quasar has, for now over twenty years, explored countless facets of musical creation including chamber music, improvisation, musical theatre and, particularly, the integration of technological developments in electronics with contemporary music, an area in which the quartet has enthusiastically found itself in a leading role. Five-time OPUS Award winners, Quasar has performed throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Since its founding in 1994, Quasar has premiered over one-hundred works.

ALWAYS LOOKING AHEAD

After over twenty years of experience in contemporary music, Quasar, in its prime, looks to the future with hope, and its characteristic passion and enthusiasm, to the numerous and diverse endeavours it has planned. Still comprised of their four founding members, the quartet is spurred on by their profound determination to evolve and eagerness to take on new challenges.

«Montréal’s Quasar Sax Quartet is a magnificent ensemble. What you get here is what you hear : technical mastery and love of the music. Itself uncompromising, no frills, no gimmicks. »
See Magazine (Edmonton) , June 9, 2010
«[...] exquisite players who have drawn international acclaim for tackling the most complex parts with real enthusiasm. »
Edmonton Journal , February 5, 2010
«[...] ces musiciens sont des poètes autant que des virtuoses de leurs instruments. »
Claude Gingras, La Presse , February 21, 2009
«Parmi les bonnes surprises [du festival MNM] figure le concert "spatialisé" du quatuor de saxophones Quasar et du compositeur Jean-François Laporte. »
Nicolas Baron, Revue Diapason , May 1, 2005
«[...] un long moment de virtuosité époustouflante où Quasar fut renversant de justesse, comme de punch; tous les effets spectaculairement en place, allaient droit au but ; les ostinatos comme les unissons sidéraient par leur perfection technique. »
François Tousignant, Le Devoir , November 26, 2005
«Quasar est un catalyseur, un allumeur d’incendies, il allume la mèche qui fera sauter la bombe. [...] Quasar était bien évidemment impeccable, et l’on entend un ensemble synchrone, même dans les compositions les plus chaotiques ! »
Normand Babin, Montréalistement , January 30, 2014
«"Facing Death", a wonderful piece deriving its material from one Charlie Parker´s well known solo, was nothing less than a miracle of playing together. »
Aare Tool, Siirp, Eesti Kultuurileth (Tallinn) , October 17, 2014
«On connaît Quasar pour son ouverture aux grandes musiques d’aujourd’hui et la virtuosité incontestable de ses membres.         »
Alain Brunet, La Presse , May 18, 2011
«[...] nous retenons la fantastique interprétation de "Facing Death", composition de Louis Andriessen qui clôt l’album. Clin d’œil à Charlie Parker, ce morceau de 18 minutes est magnifiquement arrangé pour l’entrecoisement des 4 lignes de saxophone. Bebop et virtuosité. »
Maxime Bouchard, Camuz , February 2, 2016
«Featuring exclusively acoustic compositions, "Du souffle" reveals Quasar at the height of its art, carried by the enthusiasm and energy that has always characterized Montréal’s saxophone quartet. »
Downtown Music Gallery , March 4, 2016