Duke Of Saxophone To Make Musical History

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3rd July 2008, 12:06pm - Views: 521




3 July 2008 


Master saxophonist Michael Duke is returning to Sydney to teach at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music

after 10 years of academic and performance exploits in the USA.

Dr Duke will become Australia’s first fulltime classical saxophone lecturer in a woodwind faculty.

His appointment follows an international recruitment program that attracted 70 local and international


The Melbourne-born musician and scholar, who recently became a father for the first time, has supported

an array of internationally renowned entertainers including Gloria Estefan, The Four Tops, Bill Cosby and

Gary Burton, as well as played with big bands and orchestras (Danilo Perez Big Band, the Jim Widner Big

Band, and the Greg Hopkins Big Band).

Duke received both Master's and Doctorate Degrees in Music Performance from Indiana University

studying under the tutelage of renowned classical saxophonists Eugene Rousseau, Thomas Walsh, Jean-

Yves Fourmeau and Arno Bornkamp. 

While pursuing jazz studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, Duke studied with

Shannon LeClaire, Jim Odgren and George Garzone and performed in the ensembles of Phil Wilson,

Greg Hopkins, Victor Mendoza, and Joe Lovano. 

He has an impressive record as a clinician and tutor as well as a soloist and recording artist. At the

tertiary level, Duke has taught on the faculty of Simpson College in Iowa (2002-2005), Eastern Nazarene

College in Massachusetts (2007-2008), and as an Associate Instructor at Indiana University in

Bloomington, Indiana (1998-2000). 

In Australia he has performed with many of Australia’s premiere orchestras, including the Melbourne

Symphony, Orchestra Victoria, the Australian Philharmonic and Pops Orchestra, and the Australian

Chamber Orchestra. 

In the US, his performances range across the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra (Kentucky), the Camerata

Symphony Orchestra (Indiana), the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and the Cedar Rapids Symphony


Duke has performed at the past four bi-annual North American Saxophone Alliance National conferences,

two World Saxophone Congresses, and has lectured at the Australian National Band and Orchestra


He won the Indiana University Woodwind Concerto Competition for his performance of Jacques Ibert’s

"Concertino da camera" for alto saxophone and orchestra in 2002.

The Dean and Principal of the Sydney Conservatorium, Professor Kim Walker, said: “This is just

thrilling…an Australian returning after a decade away performing and gaining higher degrees. It is doubly

exciting because it is also making Australian musical history – the inaugural fulltime saxophone

appointment in a woodwind faculty.”

Media inquiries Scott Saunders 02 9351 1298 or Graham Cassidy, Cato Counsel, 0419 202317

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