World Saxophone Congress

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Logo of World Saxophone Congress 2012 St Andrews
XV World Saxophone Congress at Bangkok, Thailand. Promotional logo
World Saxophone Congress co-founder Eugene Rousseau
14th World Saxophone Congress at Ljubljana, Slovenia. Promotional logo

The World Saxophone Congress is a festival gathering approximately 1000 saxophonists and other musicians from all over the world.[1] It is held every three years at a different congress centre in a different country and focuses primarily (although not exclusively) on the performance of classical saxophone music.

The Congress presents an opportunity to meet saxophonists from many countries and to listen to various concerts and performances of saxophone soloists, chamber ensembles, big bands and symphony orchestras that run simultaneously throughout the day in different halls of the congress centre. Each of the five days is concluded by an evening concert of the orchestra and outstanding international soloists. It is also convened with the purpose of presenting the advancements of music production and distribution as well as innovations in instrument-making and equipment.

The seventeenth World Saxophone Congress, known as SaxOpen, was held between 9 and 14 July 2015 in Strasbourg France.[2][3] The eighteenth World Saxophone Congress took place in 2018 in Zagreb, Croatia.[4]


The World Saxophone Congress was conceived by Paul Brodie (1934 - 2007)[5] and co-founded in 1969 with Eugene Rousseau (b. 1932), holding their first Congress in Chicago.[6] Eugene Rousseau writes:

"The most memorable time I spent with Paul [Brodie] was our December, 1968 meeting in Chicago. It was during this meeting that he articulated his vision of the establishment of a world saxophone congress. It came to fruition in conjunction with the Midwest Band Clinic during the following year. The World Saxophone Congress, thanks to the dream of Paul Brodie, had become established."[7]

Paul Brodie himself recalls:

"I went to an accordion congress in Toronto and I was so impressed that I thought "wouldn’t it be great to do this for the saxophone".... The next year I came back to the Midwest Band Clinic. I had written an article for Instrumentalist Magazine - "Towards a World Saxophone Congress", and I was invited to a meeting of the executive committee and they offered me the grand ballroom of the Sherman House Hotel for 16 December 1969. I asked other saxophone players to help me and nobody responded. I called Eugene Rousseau because I had met him in Seattle at a music convention.... So we met in September 1969 at the Holiday Inn at O’Hare Airport in Chicago and we stayed up all night designing the program and started to call everybody the next morning and by the time we held the first congress we thought that maybe 200 people would show up. Well over 500 saxophonists showed up."[8]

In 1981, a 7-member International Saxophone Committee (in French, Comite International du Saxophone, CIS).[9] was set up to help organise the Congress.

Performers and participants[edit]

Congress performers/participants have included Frederick Hemke, Eugene Rousseau, Donald Sinta, Patrick Meighan, Bruce Faulconer, One O'Clock Lab Band, Lee Patrick, Ronald Caravan, Paul Brodie, Lin Chien-Kwan, Roger Greenberg, Debra Richtmeyer, Kyle Horch, the Scottish Saxophone Ensemble,[10] the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain,[11] and Brian Brown


The World Saxophone Congress has been held in:

No. Location Dates Year
1st I Chicago, USA 16 December[8] 1969[6]
2nd II Chicago, USA 14–15 December[12] 1970[13]
3rd III Toronto, Canada August 1972[14]
4th IV Bordeaux, France 3–6 July 1974[15]
5th V London, UK 1976[16]
6th VI Evanston, USA 1979[17]
7th VII Nuremberg, Germany 7–11 July 1982[18][19]
8th VIII Washington, D.C., USA 1985[18]
9th IX Tokyo, Japan 1988[18]
10th X Pesaro, Italy 1992[18]
11th XI Valencia, Spain 1997[18]
12th XII Montreal, Canada 5–9 July 2000[20]
13th XIII Minneapolis, USA 9–12 July 2003[21]
14th XIV Ljubljana, Slovenia 5–9 July 2006[22]
15th XV Bangkok, Thailand 8–12 July 2009[23]
16th XVI St Andrews, Scotland 10–15 July 2012[24]
17th XVII Strasbourg, France 9–14 July 2015[2][3]
18th XVIII Zagreb, Croatia 10–14 July 2018[25]
19th XIX Kurashiki, Japan CANCELLED July 2021[26]
19th XIX Las Palmas, Grand Canaria (Spain) 6-10th December 2023


  1. ^ "Saxophone Congress Draws 1,000 Saxophonists", University of Minnesota news, 2003. Retrieved 11 November 2011
  2. ^ a b World Saxophone Congress: Strasbourg 2015, retrieved 30 July 2012
  3. ^ a b "17th World Saxophone Congress 2015 Archived 3 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine", International Saxophone Committee announcement, May 2012, retrieved 30 July 2012
  4. ^ "18th World Saxophone Congress 2018". 13 July 2010. Archived from the original on 3 May 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  5. ^ Paul Harvey, Saxophone, Publisher Kahn & Averill, 1995, ISBN 1-871082-53-6, ISBN 978-1-871082-53-1, 149 pages (page 131[permanent dead link])
  6. ^ a b Richard Ingham, The Cambridge companion to the saxophone, Publisher Cambridge University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-521-59666-1, ISBN 978-0-521-59666-4, 226 pages. (page 48[dead link])
  7. ^ "Remembering Paul Brodie Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine", Saxophone Journal, Dorn Publishing, May/June 2008 (page 44)
  8. ^ a b "Paul Brodie: Ambassador of the Saxophone Archived 18 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine", interview by Willem Moolenbeek, 10 January 2000. Retrieved 11 November 2011
  9. ^ "Statutes Archived 5 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine", International Saxophone Committee, website retrieved 11 November 2011
  10. ^ Formed in 1999, and invited performers at the XV World Saxophone Congress in Thailand in 2009. Facebook | Myspace Archived 18 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "World Sax Congress, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 8 July 2006 Archived 15 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine", The National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain website, retrieved 26 November 2011.
  12. ^ "World Saxophone Congress Set for 14-15 Dec", The School Musician Director and Teacher, Volume 42, Ammark Publishing Company, 1970, page 21
  13. ^ Saxophone journal, Volume 17, Publisher Dorn Publications, 1992. (page 35)
  14. ^ Woodwind world, Volumes 10-13, Publisher Swift-Dorr Publications, 1971 (page 116)
  15. ^ The Saxophone symposium: journal of the North American Saxophone Alliance, Volumes 26-27, Publisher North American Saxophone Alliance., 2001 (page 108)
  16. ^ Woodwind world-brass & percussion, Volumes 16-17, National Flute Association (U.S.), Publisher Swift-Dorr Publication Inc., 1977 (page 58)
  17. ^ Saxophone journal, Volume 24, Publisher Dorn Publications, 1999 (page 65)
  18. ^ a b c d e Richard Ingham, The Cambridge companion to the saxophone, Publisher Cambridge University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-521-59666-1, ISBN 978-0-521-59666-4, 226 pages. (page 68)
  19. ^ 7th World Saxophone Congress: 7.- 11. Juli 1982 in Nürnberg, Publ. World Saxophone Congress (7, 1982, Nürnberg)
  20. ^ "12th World Saxophone Congress" official Website, retrieved 26 November 2011
  21. ^ World Saxophone Congress XIII, archived website via, retrieved 26 November 2011
  22. ^ 14th World Saxophone Congress 2006 - Ljubljana - Slovenia archived website at, retrieved 26 November 2011
  23. ^ 15th World Saxophone Congress 2009, Bangkok, archived website via, retrieved 26 November 2011
  24. ^ 2012 World Saxophone Congress XVI, official website, retrieved 26 November 2012
  25. ^ "Next World Saxophone Congress 2018 / Zagreb (Croatia) 2018",, retrieved 15 June 2016
  26. ^ "Next World Saxophone Congress Japan 2021 / Kurashiki City (Japan) 2021",, retrieved 18 July 2018


  • Richard Ingham, The Cambridge Companion to the Saxophone, Cambridge University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-521-59666-1
  • Thomas Liley, Paul Brodie, Eugene Rousseau, A brief history of the World Saxophone Congress: 1969-2000, World Saxophone Congress, Published 2003, 42 pages

External links[edit]