The Baritone Institute: an initiative of Niels Bijl and Jan Menu, supported by The Four Baritones, following the highly successful performance in the Amsterdam Grachtenfestival 2011. It was a shared desire of Jan and Niels: an open stage for the baritone saxophone. Genre free, open to professionals, amateurs and anyone in need of a society for development of the most charming and versatile of the saxophone family, the baritone.
It is safe to say that the Insitute is a success: nearly 200 members, all participating in national and international workshops, concerts and events. From the Launch in Enschede on December 30th 2011 (Niels’ 40th Birthday party) to their performance at the acclaimed SAX14 festival in Amsterdam (November 2014): enthusiasm, opportunities and appreciation keep growing.
Jan and Niels are currently working on new events, following their successful participation at Sax Open, the world Sax congress in Strasbourg in July 2015, with guest tutors Jay Byrnes and Joan Martí-Frasquier. Apart from Andorra Sax-Fest, plans include setting up a US Baritone Institute, new workshops in the Netherlands and projects involving the Four Baritones with Ties Mellema and Katharina Thomsen.
The Baritone Institute aims to contribute to the Andorra Sax Fest a profile of saxophonist rare in this festival in order to give a broader vision of the saxophone. So, Andorra will be a meeting point for the baritonists to share experiences around our instrument.
Among the various activities planned, we will focus on the work on music ensemble (from quartets to larger groups) with internationally recognized specialists of classical/contemporary music and jazz. In addition, individual concerts will be open to all participants who want to perform a solo piece (or with electronics) from their repertoire.