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NASA 2020 Biennial Conference Presenter — Alastair Wright

Mark your calendars now to join us Friday-Monday, March 6-9, 2020 for the NASA 2020 Biennial Conference at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.
— NASA Director of Marketing


Saxophone Player
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Name: Alastair Wright
Presentation Date: Sunday, March 8, 2020 1:40 PM
Presentation Venue: Organ Hall
Presentation Title: Dionysus: Hocket
Type of Presentation: Professional Classical Chamber Music Performance
Proposal Duration: 17

Alastair Wright’s playing has been described as “tremendously technical and high flying” (KC Metropolis) and “dulcet-like…with a luminescent sheen” (Classical Voice of North Carolina). His primary teachers include Naomi Sullivan, Christopher Creviston, Taimur Sullivan and Zach Shemon. He currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, and is an endorsing artist for both Conn-Selmer and D’Addario. 

As soloist, Alastair has performed with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (as finalist in the 5thJean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition), Mid America Freedom Band, the UK-based Thallein Contemporary Ensemble, Convivium Singers, and the Sutton Coldfield Orchestra. In 2018, Alastair performed with PRISM Quartet for two collaborative projects, including the recording of “The Anchoress” by David Ludwig, a new work for saxophone quartet, renaissance ensemble and soprano voice. Recently, Alastair has been researching and performing the music of various cultures around the world.

Ensemble Bio:

Dionysus, a flexible ensemble comprised of saxophones and piano, formed in 2013 in North Carolina. As a saxophone duo, Alastair Wright and Dylan Ward have toured throughout the US and internationally. The ensemble strives to expand the repertoire for the instrumentation through the performance of original works, transcriptions, improvisation, and through collaboration with active composers of the 21st century. 

Recently, they have recorded and toured Wisconsin and Missouri with their program “Hocket,” celebrating living American composers working in minimalist-inspired styles. Since their formation, the group has performed at Lincoln Center, New York, at the Oh My Ears festival in Arizona, St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, and at top conservatories and educational institutions internationally, including Michigan State University, Arizona State University, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (UK). In 2016, they were a resident ensemble at Avaloch Farm Music Institute.

Other Performers / Participants


Dylan Ward

Alto Saxophone


Praised by Classical Voice of North Carolina as “brilliant…interacting with keen enthusiasm,” Dylan Ward is a Kansas City based saxophonist who specializes in contemporary music and interdisciplinary collaborations. Ward has appeared as a soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, Georgia Philharmonic, Raleigh Symphony, and Jackson Heights Orchestra, and as a chamber musician in venues such as Lincoln Center, Constellation Chicago, and Mesa Arts Center.

Ward is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, where he serves as the graduate teaching assistant for the saxophone studio and studies with Zach Shemon. Additionally, Ward has received degrees from Michigan State University, where he served as a graduate assistant to Joseph Lulloff, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Taimur Sullivan and was a recipient of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Excellence Award, the school’s most prestigious honor.

Pieces to Be Performed

Title Composer Duration
Hocket Meredith Monk (arranged Dylan Ward) 5
Lake Lei Liang 5
pay to play Ken Thomson 7