Recognized for his “glowing mahogany tone” (Seen and Heard International) and “breathtaking” (Classical Voice of NC) performances, American classical saxophonist Steven Banks “is at the forefront of musicians of his generation in his display of the highest level of both artistry and pedagogy" (Taimur Sullivan, Professor of Saxophone, Northwestern University).
Steven Banks is the first saxophonist to earn a place on the Young Concert Artists roster in its 59-year history, capturing First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions.
Mr. Banks has an ongoing relationship with The Cleveland Orchestra, having performed with the legendary ensemble in Severance Hall, Carnegie Hall, and at the Blossom Music Center. He has worked with notable conductors including Franz Welser-Most, Jahja Ling, Matthias Pintscher, Alain Altinoglu, Roderick Cox, among others. This season, Mr. Banks is particularly excited to travel to Abu Dhabi with the orchestra to perform a production of Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64, with the American Ballet Theatre.
Banks is the baritone saxophonist of the award-winning Kenari Quartet. The Kenari Quartet has found a home performing on many of the premiere chamber music series in the United States. Recent engagements include appearances at Chamber Music Northwest, the Grand Teton Music Festival, and Chamber Music Tulsa, among others. The group has earned top prizes at 7 national and international chamber music competitions. Their debut album, French Saxophone Quartets, was released in December 2016 under the Naxos Records label.
Banks is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in music education, performance, and newly commissioned works in the classical realm.