Kenneth Tse is celebrated as one of the foremost classical saxophonists in the world, having launched his impressive career with a debut at Carnegie Hall in 1996 after winning the New York Artists International Competition. This debut earned him the title of “a young virtuoso” by The New York Times. Since then, Tse’s career has flourished with performances across five continents, including solo appearances with major orchestras and ensembles such as the Des Moines Symphony, United States Navy Band, Slovenia Army Band, La Armónica Band of Spain, and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. He has also graced stages at the World Saxophone Congress and North American Saxophone Alliance conferences, contributing significantly to the global saxophone community.
Tse’s discography is extensive and critically acclaimed. Starting with his first recording at the age of 23 with Crystal Records, he has since released a multitude of solo and chamber music CDs under various labels, including RIAX Records, Enharmonic Records, and Arizona University Recordings. His recordings have been praised by publications like Fanfare magazine and American Record Guide for his captivating sound and supreme elegance.
An ardent supporter of new music, Tse has inspired over twenty works dedicated to him by renowned composers from around the world, including David DeBoor Canfield, John Cheetham, David Froom, Perry Goldstein, Walter Hartley, Barry Cockcroft, and Piet Swerts. He has not only recorded but also premiered many of these significant concertos, sonatas, solo works, and chamber pieces. Additionally, Tse’s arrangements for saxophone have been published by Reed Music, Australia, and his scholarly articles featured in notable publications like the Saxophone Journal and Yamaha Education Series.
Tse’s accomplishments extend beyond performance to education and leadership within the saxophone community. He has received numerous awards and grants, including the Hong Kong Jockey Club scholarship and the prestigious Marcel Mule Scholarship from Indiana University. Notably, he also received an honorary life membership from the Contemporary Record Society and the Alex Award from the National Alliance for Excellence.
In 2009, Tse established the Hong Kong International Saxophone Symposium, which has since become a biennial event under the Hong Kong International Saxophone Society. This initiative showcases his commitment to fostering saxophone performance and education, particularly in Asia. His influence as an educator is evident in the achievements of his students at the University of Iowa, who have won top awards at competitions like the North American Saxophone Alliance National Competitions and the Music Teachers’ National Association Competitions.
Tse currently holds the position of professor of saxophone at the University of Iowa and is the Vice President of the International Saxophone Committee. His educational background is as impressive as his professional one, with degrees from the University of Illinois, Indiana University, and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, where he made history as the first saxophonist to receive the Artist Diploma from Indiana University School of Music.
Kenneth Tse’s contribution to the world of classical saxophone, both as a performer and educator, is immense. His blend of virtuosic performance, dedication to new music, and commitment to education make him a pivotal figure in the saxophone community, inspiring the next generation of saxophonists worldwide.
Page last updated 1/16/2024.