Pianist Kenneth Saxon has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist on three continents, including appearances at the Esplanade in Singapore, the Teatro di Donnafugato in Ibla, Sicily, and La Teatro de la Reforma in Matamoros, Mexico. Known for his wide-ranging repertoire, Saxon has premiered works by Gary Smoke and Maxwell Dulaney and regularly explores works by Schumann, Crumb, Bartok, and Granados. Saxon’s recording of the Rachmaninoff Preludes, Op. 32 was praised for the “fineness of touch . . . and excellent handling of polyphony” by William Kreindler for MusicWeb-International.
Saxon uses color, touch, and timing to create distinct sound worlds for each composer. His distinctive programming helps audiences make unexpected connections between the music and their own lives. An entertaining and engaging presence, Saxon often introduces works with a brief story about the pieces and his own experiences with them.
Saxon premiered Kawai Shiu’s solo work la negacion de simbolos and Bird Whistle, a work inspired by and conducted by composer Harrison Birtwistle. Saxon recorded Shiu’s “Winter Tide” on the album eXchange:China and “clear shade” on music of kawai shiu. In addition, Saxon created the contemporary ensemble Sin Fronteras (without boundaries) and has frequently championed the work if young composers by performing their works.
Kenneth is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He has published articles on sight reading in the Piano Pedagogy Journal, American Music Teacher and Pianist magazine. His book Steps to Success has helped hundreds of musicians improve their sight reading fluency. Saxon regularly offers master classes and workshops along with his performances.