KENNETH RADNOFSKY BIOGRAPHY - 2016 (edited February 2016)

Saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras and ensembles throughout the world, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and New York Philharmonic under the direction of Maestro Kurt Masur, Jerusalem Symphony, Dresden Staatskapelle, Boston Pops, Taipei and Taiwan Symphonies, New World Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Marlboro Festival, Portland String Quartet, and Moscow Autumn, a Russian new music festival. Mr. Radnofsky made his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York premiere of Gunther Schuller’s Concerto with the National Orchestral Association. The world premiere of the Schuller was also given by Radnofsky, with the Pittsburgh Symphony, with both of the highly acclaimed performances conducted by the composer. David Amram’s Concerto, Ode to Lord Buckley, is also dedicated to Radnofsky, who premiered the work with the Portland Symphony under Bruce Hangen’s direction. He has also performed on numerous occasions for the Boston Symphony, thrice soloist with Boston Modern Orchestra Project (Hovhaness, Olivero, Gandolfi Concerti), with conductor Gil Rose, and twice with Boston Classical Orchestra, with conductor Steven Lipsitt.

Of his 100+ commissions, American composers who have written for Radnofsky include Schuller, Amram, James Yannatos, Michael Gandolfi, Michael Colgrass, Donald Martino, Milton Babbitt, Ezra Sims, Chris Theofanidis, Michael Horvit, John McDonald, Larry Bell, Roger Bourland, Allen Johnson, Elliott Schwartz, Pasquale Tassone, Armand Qualliotine and an innovative commission of Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Harbison for a Sonata, premiered Dec. 3, 1995 by forty-three saxophonists in different locations around the globe in an effort organized by Radnofsky, entitled World-Wide Concurrent Premieres, Inc. (WWCP). Mr. Radnofsky is Founder of WWCP, and has created a network of musicians commissioning today’s finest composers. Yang Yong, Christian Yufra, Juan Ruiz, Jaime Fatas, Shih-Hui Chen, Andy Vores, Lei Liang, Vincent Plush, Georgy Dmitriev and Jakov Jakoulov have also written for Radnofsky, and all while celebrating over thirty years of teaching, with concerts in Istanbul, Rome, Taipei, Havana, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Mexico City, Montreal, Caracas, Manchester, UK, Beijing, Shanghai, and elsewhere.

In the 2016-17 concert season, Radnofsky and violinist Elmira Darvarova will premiere 'American Love Stories,' (the FOURTH work composer David Amram has written for\commissioned by Ken Radnofsky), with pianist Thomas Weaver, with their recently formed 'Amram Ensemble.' 2015-2016 also offers premieres of more new works by Jakov Jakoulov and Yang Yong, performances on NY Philharmonic Chamber Series; 2014-15 the world-premiere of David Amram's 'Greenwich Village Portraits (saxophone and piano) in NY, and Boston (WWCP), recitals in Shanghai, Bejing, Xian, Tanglewood, residency with the Radnofsky Quartet at University of California San Diego, and performances with Chatauqua and Dearborn Symphonies. 2012-13 included concerts as soloist with the New England Conservatory and Boston University Wind Ensembles (Husa and Perker, respectively) and Augusta Read Thomas' Carillon Sky, with Ensemble 'Signal,' at June in Buffalo, while 2011-12 included the premiere of James Yannatos’ Saxophone Concerto with the Longy Conservatory (of Bard College) Orchestra in Sanders Theatre, and Baris Perker’s new Concerto with the Istanbul State Symphony in Turkey. He has been a frequent soloist with conductors John Mauceri, John Williams and the Boston Pops in Franz Waxman’s Suite for Saxophone, 'A Place in the Sun'.

Concurrent with his performing and teaching, Radnofsky has designed and implemented a saxophone program for Venezuela with saxophone professor Claudio Dioguardi over the last ten years, as well as teaching in Brazil, Israel, China and Turkey. Radnofsky is committed to outreach on an international scale, nationally and locally; his editorial on such was published in the Christian Science Monitor. Radnofsky has given literally thousands of outreach performances. They include a teaching component and investment in community to which he is deeply committed. He is President of the Boston Woodwind Society, an organization dedicated to fostering the development of talented young woodwind players, succeeding its founder, the late Matthew Ruggiero, and co-founder (with Michael Couper), of RCEditions (woodwind music publishing house).

Current solo CD releases include David Amram's 'Ode to Lord Buckley' (NewportClassic Recordings), Debussy Rhapsody with the New York Philharmonic (Teldec 13133/Apex), (Boston Records 1043), Fascinatin’ Rhythms (Boston Records 1044), Gandolfi 'Fantasia' , 'From the Institutes of Groove,' (BMOP/sound 1028), Donald Martino’s Saxophone Concerto (New World 80529-2), Michael Colgrass’ Sax Concerto Dream Dancer, (Mode 125), and Elliott Schwartz ‘Mehitabel’s Serenade' (Sax Concerto) on Albany-Troy 646. He is featured sax soloist with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, in Franz Waxman’s 'A Place in the Sun,' under John Mauceri’s direction (Philips 4321092). Kenneth Radnofsky’s principal teachers were Joseph Allard, Jeffrey Lerner, David Salge, Steven Hoyle, Terry Anderson, and Duncan Hale. He teaches at New England Conservatory, Boston University and Longy School of Bard College. He is a Selmer Artist. For more information please visit his website at:


Publicity Photos

(Photo credit: Susan Young)
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(Photo credit: Liz Linder)
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(Photo credit: Benjamin Cheung)
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YOU ARE THE SAXOPHONE-The equipment is not the key; it is making the instrument an extension of your own thoughts feeling, intellect, and transforming and transmitting them directly through your own physiology, unimpeded by the instrument, which should be an extension of YOU. Selmer best represents those ideals, to me.


Yang Yong  Lyric Dialogue for Saxophone and Cello  2015
Jakov Jakoulov, Trio for Tenor Saxophone, Cello and Piano  
David Amram  
Greenwich Village Portraits  2014*
Jeremy VanBuskirk  Sax and Electronics   2013
Shih-Hui Chen
 Fantasia on Theme of Plum Blossoms  2012*
Baris Perker
 Concerto  2012
James Yannatos Concerto  2012
Goran Daskalov Macedonian Dance  2012
John McDonald Saxophone Quartet #2  2012
Juan Ruiz 'Lejanias' and 'Avenida La Playa' for Saxophone and cello 2011
John McDonald  Reunion In Solos And Duets: Flute And Alto Saxophone,  2011 
Christian Yufra  'Desesperacion, Ayelen, Huellas en el Camino, La Fresca, Amanecer,'
  for Saxophone, Flute and Piano (and Bombo Leguero)  2010 
Betty Olivero  'Kriot' for Saxophone and Orchestra 2008
Gil Shohat Quintet for Saxophone and String Quartet 2008
Lei Liang 'Yuan' for Saxophone Quartet  2008*
Michael Gandolfi Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra 2005 
Eric Sawyer Quartet for saxophones 2004*
John Morrison Quartet for saxophones 2004* 
Fran Trester Quartet for saxophones 2004*
John McDonald Quintet for Saxophone and String Quartet 2004* 
Shih-Hui Chen  'Plum Blossoms' for Saxophone and Piano 2004* 
Dana Brayton  ‘Coyote Dreams’ for Saxophone and Orchestra 2004 
Pasquale Tassone Five Movements for Alto-Saxophone and Piano 2004 
Curtis Hughes ‘Myopia 2’ for Saxophone Ensemble 2004 
Felipe Lara Quartet for Saxophones 2004 
Stan Hoffman  ‘Hymn to the Sun’ for Saxophone Ensemble 2003 
Armand Qualliotine  ‘Love Feast of the Fireflies’ for Soprano Sax and Piano 2003 
John McDonald Capriccetti for Saxophone and Piano 2002 
Gunther Schuller Duo Concertante for Cello and Piano 2002* 
Colin Stack ‘Several Shades of Reflection’for Saxophone Ensemble 2002 
Elliott Schwartz  ’Mehitabel’s Serenade’ for Saxophone and Orchestra 2001 
John McDonald Prologue in the Form of a Qaddish 2001 
Michael Colgrass  ‘Dream Dancer’ for Saxophone and Wind Orchestra 2001* 
John McDonald  ‘Barrier Music’ for Saxophone, Cello and Piano 2000 
Shih-Hui Chen  ‘Twice Removed’ for Solo Saxophone 2000 
Lei Liang  ‘Extend’ for Saxophone and Guanzi 2000 
Andy Vores  ‘Night Life’ for Saxophone, Cello and Piano 2000 
Jakov Jakoulov  ‘The Snow Queen’ for 12 hands, 2 Pianos 1999* 
Michael Colgrass  'Chameleon' for Solo Saxophone 1999 
Donald Martino  ‘Piccolo Studio’ for Solo Saxophone 1999 
David Amram  ‘Prologue and Scherzo’ for Solo Saxophone 1999 
Gunther Schuller Sonata for Saxophone and Piano 1999* 
Jakov Jakoulov Concerto for Saxophone and String Orchestra 1999 
Jakov Jakoulov  ‘Bernstein Anniversary’ for Saxophone and Piano 1999 
Yang Yong  ‘Beyond the Mountains’ for Saxophone and Orchestra 1998 
Armando Qualliotine Terzetto for Saxophone, Cello and Piano 1998 
Pasquale Tassone Divertimento for Saxophone and Piano 1998 
Michael Horvit  ‘Land of Dreams’ for Saxophone, Voice and Choir 1998* 
Yehudi Wyner Trio for Horn, Cello and Piano 1997* 
Frank Ticheli  ‘Blue Shades’ for Clarinet and Band 1997* 
Jaime Fatas  ‘Flamenco sin Limites’ for Solo Saxophone 1997 
Larry Thomas Bell Trio for Saxophone, Cello, and Piano ‘Mahler in Blue Light’ 1996 
John Harbison Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano ‘San-Antonio’ 1995* 
Vincent Plush ‘Gershwin on Folly Island’ for Saxophone Solo and cd 1994 
Christopher Theofanidis Concerto ‘Netherland’ 1993* 
Georgy Dmitriev Concerto ‘Labyrinth’ 1992 
Lee Hoiby 'Three Women' for Soprano Voice, Saxophone and Piano 1987 
Donald Martino Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra 1987 
Morton Subotnick Concerto for Electric Saxophone (and acoustic) & Orchestra 1987 
Milton Babbitt  ‘Whirled Series’ Sonata for Saxophone and Piano 1987 
Allen Johnson ‘Nightsong’ for Saxophone and Piano (or Chamber Orchestra) 1986 
Matthew Marvuglio  ‘Improvisations on Summertime’ for Solo Saxophone 1986 
Roger Bourland Quintet for Soprano Saxophone and String Quartet 1985 
Gunther Schuller Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra 1984 
Roger Borland ‘Far in the Night’for Soprano Sax, Bassoon and Str. Orch. 1983 
Ezra Sims Sextet 1982      
Ezra Sims Solo for Saxophone 1981 
David Polansky  ‘Madness in 3 Episodes’ for Solo Saxophone 1981 
Shirish Korde  ‘Spiral qfwfq’ for solo bass clarinet 1981 
David Amram Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra 1981 
Alan Hovhaness Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and String Orchestra 1981
Thomas Oboe Lee  'Sourmash 2' for Saxophone and Piano 1981

 *Indicates World-Wide Concurrent Premieres Commission, Radnofsky, Founder and President



2012: Ken with Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra (IDSO)

"The Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra (IDSO), conducted by Dorian Wilson, premiered Baris Perker’s ‘Alto Saxophone Concerto’ to Istanbul’s classical music lovers at two sold-out concerts last week."


Historic Jordan Hall 2010: Birthday Celebrations for Gunther Schuller and David Amram at Jordan Hall with composers in attendance

David Amram, Ken Radnofsky, James Sommerville (principal horn BSO), Jordan Hall, Feb. 2010
photo credit: George DeLuca

David Amram (80), Ken (background), Gunther Schuller (85) Birthday recital Jordan Hall Feb. 2010
photo credit: Violet Radnofsky

2009-First Performance of Copland's Quiet City 

October -Nov. 2008 Ken performs new works by Israeli composers Shohat and Olivero in honor of Israel 60th anniversary
July 08- Ken performs with John Williams as soloist at Tanglewood in Waxman 'A Place in the Sun'
          2004 Performance of Bernard Hermann's 'Taxi Driver' (Sax soloist), with John Williams, Tanglewood Film Night
Jordan Hall Debut - Radnofsky Quartet Mar. 2003
    Performance at Cuban New Music Festival with daughters

Letter from President Clinton
          Tanglewood, Berio Sequenza 9B (Solo alto sax), Ozawa Hall, Berio 75th Birthday tribute
American Academy in Rome performance of Shih-Hui Chen Twice Removed (solo sax)
          World Saxophone Congress, Montreal; Longy School, Boston: program of works written for Radnofsky by Harbison, Colgrass, Martino, Schuller, Amram, Chen, Liang, Jakoulov
Beijing Central Opera Theater Orchestra w/Steven Lipsitt (Premiere Y.Yong Sax Concerto) 1999 Boston Pops w/John Williams
Waxman A Place in the Sun
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Cover Page of Gunther Schuller's new Saxophone Sonata dedicated to Radnofsky

US Holocaust Museum
American Premiere Ullmann Rhapsody (sax/piano version)

Taipei Symphony
Debussy Rhapsody and Glazounov Concerto
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John Williams' 'personal' ending for Ken's performance at Tanglewood
        World Saxophone Congress, (Larry BellTrio )
Valencia, Spain
World-Wide Live Internet Broadcast on Real Audio
Larry Bell Trio
        New York Philharmonic w/Kurt Masur
Debussy Rhapsody
Everybody Plays it First
Chamber Music Article


          New England Conservatory Symphony w/Richard Hoenich American Premire of Ullmann Rhapsody
Portland Symphony w/Toshi Shimada
Martino Concerto
          New World Symphony w/Tania Leon
Martino Concerto
Knoxville Symphony w/Kirk Trevor
Premiere Dmitriev Concerto
          Omaha Symphony w/Bruce Hangen
World Premiere Theofanidis Concerto
Taiwan Wind Ensemble and Taiwan Symphony five City Tour
          Hollywood Bowl Orchestra w/John Mauceri
Waxman A Place in the Sun
Boston Pops Orchestra w/John Mauceri
Waxman A Place in the Sun

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Ken with soprano sax at National Concert Hall, Taiwan

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Early letters from Rudolf Serkin after Ken's first appearance as saxophonist and bass clarinetist, Marlboro Festival


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Correspondence from Aaron Copland, the first of many composers Radnofsky approached for commission works!

Letter from Karel Husa commenting on Ken's performance of his work.
          Moscow Autumn, Soviet New Music Festival
1st ever American soloist
BBC Concert Orchestra w/ Ashley Lawrence
Schuller Concerto and Debussy Rhapsody
          Hartford Symphony w/ Michael Lankester
John Lennon Concerto
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra w/ Kurt Masur
Ibert and Debussy Concerti
          Dresden Staatskapelle Orchestra
Ibert and Debussy Concerti
New Hampshire Symphony
World Premiere of Don Martino Concerto
          National Orchestra Assn. Carnegie Hall
Debut in Schuller Concerto
Akron Symphony in Karel Husa Elegie et Rondeau, Alan Balter conducting
          USAF Orchestra in Schuller Concerto, composer conducting World Sax Congress
Philharmonic Orchestra of Florida
Amram Concerto

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
World Premiere of Schuller Concerto, composer cond.


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Ken's very first Boston Symphony appearance (age 24) at Symphony Hall in David Del Tredici's Final Alice, Seiji Ozawa conducting