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Saxophonist Richard Schwartz to premiere work by Egyptian composer

Contact: Christina Chapple


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Richard Schwartz  Kevin Estoque

Left, Richard Schwartz; right, Kevin Estoque

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University saxophonist Richard Schwartz, an instructor in the Department of Music and Dramatic Arts, will perform the world premiere of a musical composition by an internationally acclaimed 86-year-old Egyptian composer.

     Schwartz, accompanied by fellow faculty member and noted percussionist Kevin Estoque, will premiere Halim El-Dabh's "The Miraculous Tale" on Sunday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pottle Music Building Recital Hall.

     He is one of 30 saxophonists throughout the world who will simultaneously premiere the work through the World-Wide Concurrent Premieres and Commissioning Fund, Inc.

     The WWCPCF, Schwartz explained, is “a way to build a repertoire for future generations.”

     “We do this every two years,” he said. “The WWCPCF selects a composer and invites saxophonists to commission a work. Saxophonists don’t have a lot of ‘classics,’ because Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms were all dead before the saxophone was invented. Therefore, we have to generate a large body of work from which we can choose fine pieces to perform.”        

     Schwartz said “The Miraculous Tale” is written for alto saxophone and derabucca, an Egyptian goblet-shaped drum. “The work was inspired by an event in Boston in which the composer was struck by lightning and survived,” he said. “It’s a very interesting piece.”

     To learn more about the WWCPCF program and Halim El-Dabh, visit and

     Schwartz said the March 4 recital will also include an African inspired piece for solo saxophone and works by jazz saxophonist John Coltrane.

     The concert is free and is part of Encore!, the Department of Music and Dramatic Arts’ spring concert series. For an Encore! brochure, contact the department at 985-549-2184.

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