The instrument maker Adolphe Sax, who was born in Belgium, had a vision when looking for a new sound of an instrument: it should be rich in nuances like a clarinet, and connect the radiant power of brass instruments and the soft character of strings with the timbre of a singing voice. An ambitious project. In the early 1840s, however, the tireless inventor finally, after countless experiments, succeeded in achieving the mix of timbres he desired by combining a modified bass clarinet mouthpiece with an almost conically shaped body made of metal with holes in the side and valves.
In June 1842 the enterprising inventor demonstrated the “saxophone”, as he called it, to Hector Berlioz at the Paris Conservatoire. Berlioz was impressed and described the sound as “full, soft, vibrating, extremely powerful, and easy to lower in intensity”. Sax succeeded in persuading Rossini, Massenet, Halévy and Meyerbeer to giving enthusiastic expert assessments as well, which led to saxophones being incorporated into a range of opera and ballet scores. The instruments experienced their definitive breakthrough, however, only when jazz came along in the early 20th century.
In 2019, the saxophone is the instrument of the year. It is at the heart of this family concert, where the little dragons Klari and Sax experience exciting adventures. Besides Manfred Preis and Dominik Wollenweber, members of the Berlin Philharmonic, Maike Krullmann from the clair-obscur saxophone quartet will join, as will Jürgen Grözinger (percussion). Janet Kirsten will take on stage design and dramaturgy; she works as costume designer and director at the Potsdam “Poetenpack” theater, and has already been involved in the Berlin Philharmonic’s education projects several times.