Why the sax? Very simple: the town band needed one!

Lido Garosi, bandmaster, carpenter, San Quirico d’Orcia (Siena) mayor, gave me an alto saxophone that didn’t even have a case. My mother lovingly sewed a bag to carry it. It was 1973, and at 9 I began my musical adventure.

A year later, my grandpa gave me a Rampone & Cazzani sax and followed me in any away performance of the band.

That was a time when bands performed overtures, opera arias, symphonies, and they played a crucial role in cultivated music appreciation.

At 16, I decided to study at the Music Academy and to attend a musical high school. It was an important and educational experience.

I got a degree with honours at 21, and three months later I got my first temporary post at the Music Academy in Perugia. Since 1989, I have been a Saxophone teacher at the “L. Cherubini” Music Academy in Florence.

In these years, I have collaborated with the “Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte” in Montepulciano, the RAI Symphonic Orchestra in Turin, the ORT (Orchestra Regionale Toscana), the “Maggio Musicale Fiorentino” festival, as a solo player at the “1985 Biennale Musica” in Venice, and with Maestros including Henze (his mesmerizing eyes were unique), Chung (always so helpful), Berio (a little detached), Leitner (very professional and “German”), Bartoletti (a little grumpy), Garbarino (so nice), Lolini (adorable), who by the way nominated me as heir of his artistic production.

I recorded for Amiata Records, Nuova Era, Smilax Publishing, Pentaphon, VideoRadio, ONK Music, HitMusic, Forrest Hill, Rain Records. On 27thMay 2019 I got the “Rinaldo Rossi” lifetime achievement award in Castiglione delle Stiviere.

Still a student, my teacher Federico Mondelci invited me to join his sax quartet, where I’d played the alto sax for 3 years.

And the sax quartet intrigued me: it’s an extraordinary ensemble, only comparable to the string quartet for expressivity, dynamic, sound and timbre.

So I founded, with my dear friend Marco Falaschi, an ensemble that would imitate the string quartet: a classical cultivated sax quartet.

I chose to play the baritone sax as if it was a cello, and I started to arrange classical works, from Gesualdo to Gershwin, from Mozart to Nyman, including soundtracks and progressive rock songs.

That’s why today we’re a unique ensemble: a Chamber Saxophone Quartet.

From 1983 on, some members have changed, but our spirit and our way of thinking and playing the sax has not, and our ample discography testifies it!

Roberto Frati


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