Adolphe Sax, His Influence and Legacy: A Bicentenary Conference


Antoine-Joseph Sax, (known as Adolphe Sax), was born in Dinant (Belgium) on the 6th of November 1814. He was one of the towering figures in nineteenth century musical instrument development, especially in respect of wind instruments. On the occasion of the bicentenary of his birth, the Brussels Musical Instruments Museum is hosting a conference on Sax, his influence and legacy. It will cover his contribution to musical instrument development, the various strands of musical activity in which his instruments were used and its influence on repertoire and style.

Musical Instruments Museum, 3-5 July 2014
Venue: Hofberg 2 Montagne de la Cour
B-1000 Brussels

Full program and registration:

Organising committee

· Céline Bourguignon (mim)
· Anne-Emmanuelle Ceulemans (mim – Université catholique de
· Géry Dumoulin (mim)
· Henri Vanhulst (Belgian Society of Musicology – Université libre
de Bruxelles – Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

Scientific committee

· Anne-Emmanuelle Ceulemans (mim)
· Mark Delaere (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
· Géry Dumoulin (mim)
· Trevor Herbert (The Open University)
· Jeffrey Nussbaum (Historic Brass Society)
· Herman Sabbe (Universiteit Gent)
· Henri Vanhulst (Belgian Society of Musicology – Université libre de
Bruxelles – Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
· Philippe Vendrix (Université de Liège –Centre National de la Recherche
Scientifique, Tours)
· Howard Weiner (Historic Brass Society Journal)


Thursday 3 July 2014

9.30 Opening and registration

10.00 Keynote address: D. Litt. Trevor Herbert,
Professor of Music, The Open University, Honorary Professor of Music at
Cardiff University, Fellow of the Leeds College of Music


Dr. Robert Howe
Adolphe Sax, his influence and legacy: Myths noted and debunked

12.15 Public concert at the Brussels
Conservatory (Cuivres romantiques,
dir. J.-Fr. Madeuf)

13-14.30 Lunch


Dr. Patrick Peronnet
Saxons et Carafons. Adolphe Sax et le Gymnase Musical Militaire : un
conflit d’esthétique

José-Modesto Diago Ortega
Legitimacy, defence and justice of the musical instruments in the
nineteenth-century century: the Adolphe Sax’s pyrrhic judicial trials

Dr. Walter Kreyszig
“Ces nouvelles voix données à l’orchestre possèdent des qualités rares et
précieuses …”: Reflecting on Adolphe Sax and His Invention of the
Saxophone and Related Instruments in Hector Berlioz’s Grand Traité
d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes, op. 10 (1843, 1855), Te
Deum, op. 22 (1849), and Les Troyens, op. 5 (1856-8)

16.00 Coffee break


Dr. Adrian von Steiger
Sax figures. Can we deduce details of Adolphe Sax’s instrument production
from the sources?

Bruno Kampmann
Saxophone prototypes and “pathological keywork”

Friday 4 July 2014

9.30 Registration


Dr. Bradley Strauchen-Scherer
Museum Piece: Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown and the instruments of the Sax
family at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thierry Maniguet
The remaining instruments of the Fanfare de scène of Paris Opéra – a new

11.00 Coffee break


Dr. Malou Haine
40 ans de recherches sur Sax et ses instruments

12.00 -14.00 Lunch and concert

14.00 Visit of the exhibition SAX200

15.30 Coffee break


Dr. Damien Sagrillo
Adolphe Sax, Jean-Baptiste Arban etc. Pedagogical Aspects on Saxhorn
Learning and Problems of Nomenclature

Olivia Wanhon de Oliveira
De l’intérêt de Fétis pour les inventions de Sax à la création de la
classe de saxophone en 1867 au Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles

Astrid Herman
Adolphe Sax and the written press of his time

19.30 Conference dinner at the museum restaurant

Saturday 5 July

9.30 Registration


Jeroen Billiet
Adolphe Sax’s “histoire belge”: the introduction of independently valved
instruments at Belgian conservatoires, 1869-1874

Dr. Albert R. Rice
The bass clarinets of Adolphe Sax and some examples of their musical use

11.00 Coffee break

11.30 Keynote address: Stephen Cottrell,
Professor of Music and Head of the conjoint Departments of Music, and
Culture & Creative Industries; Associate Dean (International) at the
School of Arts and Social Sciences, City University of London

12.30-14 Lunch


Dr. Albrecht Dümling
Instrument of the future or symbol of decadence? Controversies concerning
the saxophone in Nazi Germany

Rob Woodward
The saxophone – dark, bad and rebellious

Jeffrey Siegfried
Edison Denisov’s Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano and the development
of the saxophone in Russia

15.30 Coffee break

16.00- 17.00

Dr. Ignace De Keyser
The Introduction of the Saxophone in Urban Music in Subsaharian Africa

Marten Potsma
The parabolical cone with A. Sax

Anne-Emmanuelle Ceulemans

Centre de recherche en musicologie
Université catholique de Louvain

Musée des Instruments de Musique

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