Dr. Stephen C. Page
Described by noted American composer Libby Larsen as “fearless on stage,” saxophonist Stephen Page has garnered international prominence as one of the leading saxophonist’s of today’s younger generation.
Dr. Page has appeared across four continents, in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, and across the United States. He has performed under such notable conductors as Fredrick Fennell, Ray Cramer, Craig Kirchhoff, Gary Hill, Toshiyuki Shimada, Gary Green, Richard Heidel and Akira Mori.
Well known for his interpretations of the great original works for saxophone, Stephen has also gained acclaim for his innovative arrangements and performances of the violin repertoire from composers such as Brahms, Faure, Grieg, Franck and Prokofiev, and Bach. He has also furthered the saxophone repertoire through the commissioning of new works from composers such as John Mackey, David Maslanka, David Rakowski, Ida Gotkovsky, David Canfield, Mark Lewis, Gregory Wanamaker, and Mark Mellits, among many others.
Stephen has won prizes in no fewer than ten international and national competitions, including 1st Prizes at the North American Saxophone Alliance Solo Competition, Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Competition, AUREC Saxophone Competition and the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition. Additionally he has been awarded 2nd Prize in the North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition (2008 and 2010), the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition, and a Silver Medal at the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
As the Alto Saxophone chair of the critically acclaimed Zzyzx Quartet, Stephen has appeared internationally in venues both public and academic in such notable venues as Izumi hall in Osaka, Japan, and Symphony Space in New York City. Their most recent recording, “Intersections” features standard original repertoire for quartet, newly commissioned works, and the group’s own transcriptions. Most recently, Zzyzx was selected to serve on the panel for the 2014 Barlow Endowment Prize as one of three internationally recognized quartets, and will premiere the winning composer’s new work for quartet in 2016.
Dr. Page has been an active recording artist since producing his first recording at 21 years old. Since that time, he has produced nine additional recordings as a soloist and chamber musician, which can be heard on the Enharmonic, Teal Creek, Crystal Music, and AUR Labels.
Currently residing in Texas and teaching at the Butler School of Music within the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Page has earned degrees from the University of Minnesota, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and the University of Iowa, having studied under Eugene Rousseau, Otis Murphy and Kenneth Tse, respectively.
Stephen Page is a Yamaha Performing Artist, and a D’Addario Artist.
Saxophone Studio Teaching Assistant
Nathan Mertens is currently serves as the Saxophone Teaching Assistant at theUniversity of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music, where he is pursuing a Doctorate of Music Arts in Saxophone Performance with Dr. Stephen Page. Mertens also received his Master’s degree at the University of Texas. He currently performs with the University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Siris Saxophone Quartet, the Austin Saxophone Ensemble, and TEX SAX, the University of Texas Saxophone Ensemble. Mertens completed his undergraduate work at Hastings College in Nebraska graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Woodwind Pedagogy. While at Hastings College he studied with Dr. Debra McKim-Rhodes and performed with the Hastings Symphony Orchestra, Hastings College Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Band, and Hastings College Jazz Ensemble.
Mertens premiered the orchestral version of Mark Watters’ “Rhapsody” for Baritone Saxophone with the Hastings Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer. He also has played with the San Antonio Symphony, Hastings College Saxophone Quartet, Ellipsis Saxophone Quartet, and the “Token Trio”, a chamber ensemble consisting of flute, saxophone, and piano. The Token Trio performed as the collegiate representative at the Nebraska NAfME convention. In addition, he has also premiered works by John Mackey, Brandon Scott Rumsey, Joel Pucket, and David Adams.
Mertens’ honors include MTNA Young Artist Woodwind Competition (NE), MTNA Chamber Music Competition (NE), NMTA Young Artist Woodwind Competition, and Hastings Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition. He received Honorable Mention in MTNA Young Artist Woodwind Competition, was a finalist for the Arapahoe Philharmonic Concerto Competition and the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, member of the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association Collegiate Honor Band, James King Outstanding Bandsman, and the Hastings College Presser Scholar.
In addition to an active solo and chamber performance schedule, Mertens also maintains a private woodwind studio in Austin. He has placed students in statewide honor ensembles and college music programs. His students have also continued to receive top ratings at contest. Mertens’ professional memberships include the Texas Music Educations Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and North American Saxophone Alliance.