Banaszak At The Grammys

Banaszak’s recent recording of Alan Hovhaness’ Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Strings, Op. 344 (Naxos 8.559755) has been nominated for the 2015 Grammy Award in two categories: Best Orchestral Performance and Best Classical Instrumental Solo. Performed with Eastern Music Festival Orchestra and Gerard Schwarz, the CD had already garnered many positive comments and reviews.

Writing for Gramophone in June 2015, Laurence Vittes noted that, “Greg Banaszak milks the tone and timbre of his unaccountably neglected solo instrument in an irresistible series of romantic episodes, evocative at times of Tchaikovsky in his exotic Nutcracker mode.” American Record Guide in a July 2015 issue opined that, “It is hard to imagine any player anywhere with more beautiful a tone than Greg Banaszak, so you are unlikely ever to find a better recording!” Similarly, David Hurwitz, writing for ClassicsToday.com, waxed lyrical about the Hovhaness CD and the soloist: “The Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Strings also sounds vividly tuneful and unfailingly attractive. Greg Banaszak plays the solo part with the suave timbre that the work requires, especially in the Adagio espressivo at the start of the second movement, while Hovhaness specialist Gerard Schwarz does his usual fine job with all three works, galvanizing the players of the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra to a welcome degree of corporate integrity. Beautiful.”

Bravo, Greg! And good luck at the Grammys!

[Sources: press release, naxos.com]