Gerald Danovitch Saxophone Quartet

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Gerald Danovitch Saxophone Quartet
Origin Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Classical
Years active 1968 (1968)–1997 (1997)
Past members Gerald Danovitch
Donald Hughes
Shane Nestruck
Abe Kestenberg
Peter Freeman
Nancy Newman
Janis Steprans

The Gerald Danovitch Saxophone Quartet (GDSQ) was a Canadian music ensemble formed in 1968. It was founded in Montreal by McGill University professor Gerald Danovitch.


The saxophone quartet performed music in many styles, from Classical to Jazz. The original group members were Danovitch on soprano saxophone, Donald Hughes on alto, Shane Nestruck on baritone, and Abe Kestenberg on tenor. In 1976 Danovitch's student, Peter Freeman, took the place of Donald Hughes, and in 1978 Nancy Newman became the baritone player for the quartet in place of Shane Nestruck. Janis Steprans, also a student of Danovitch, began performing with the group in 1994.[1]

In 1983 GDSQ won the du Maurier Search for Stars Contest organized by the du Maurier Council for the Performing Arts. In 1986 the quartet performed Pierre Max Dubois' concerto for saxophone quartet and strings with the Orchestre Métropolitain, conducted by the composer.

In 1988 the quartet performed at the ninth World Saxophone Congress, in Tokyo, Japan, and toured the Far East. In 1989 Paquito D'Rivera composed New York Suite for the GDSQ. CBC JazzImage also made a recording of the composition that same year, featuring the New York Saxophone Quartet.

After the sudden death of Gerald Danovitch from cancer in 1997, Newman and Kestenberg formed the Phoenix Saxophone Quartet. They broadcast a tribute to Danovitch on 8 January 1999 on the CBC Radio 2 program „In Performance“.


1985 — Esquisses. Dubois Quatuor — M. Perrault Esquisses québécoises — McGill University Records 85022
1986 — Jones Three Preludes and a Fugue. 5-ACM 24
1987 — Gerald Danovitch Saxophone Quartet — CBC Records [1018][2]
1988 — Patriquin Earthpeace One. L. and I. Zuk piano. A Tempo 29588 (cass)
1989 — Free Trade. D. Matthews — Arnold — D'Rivera — et al. New York Saxophone Quartet. CBC JazzImage 2-0118 (CD)
1991 — Celebration: One Hundred and Fifty Years of the Saxophone. — featuring Eugene Rousseau — McGill University Records 750042-2 (CD)


2008 — Air on a G String from Celebration: One Hundred and Fifty Years of the Saxophone. The CD was used as a part of the soundtrack to the 2008 film Let the Right One In.[3]


  1. ^ Nygaard King, Betty; Larose, Anik; Turbide, Nadia (December 16, 2013) [2007]. "Gerald Danovitch Saxophone Quartet/Quatuor de saxophones Gerald Danovitch". The Canadian Encyclopedia (online ed.). Historica Canada. 
  2. ^ "Gerald Danovitch Saxophone Quartet". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Let the Right One In (2008) » Låt den rätte komma in (original title)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Rowland, Hilary. 'Meet the man behind all that campus jazz,' Montreal Gazette, 27 Oct 1984
  • McLean, Eric. 'Sax quartet makes strange mix,' Montreal Gazette, 12 Mar 1988
  • Tanner, David. 'Gerald Danovitch,' Saxophone Journal, vol 14, Jul–Aug 1989
  • Ginsberg, Murray. "Canadian Scene." International Musician, Nov 1992