Eliot Gattegno was born in South Florida and studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy, New England Conservatory (BM, MM), University of California (DMA) and Harvard University (Fellow). He is the recipient of several coveted prizes which include a 2001 Downbeat Award, the 2005 Tourjee Alumni Award of the New England Conservatory and the 2006 Emerging Artist Award of the St. Botolph Foundation. In August 2007, after a series of concerto performances with the Orquestra de Camara Theatro Sao Pedro and master classes and lectures at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Brasil, he was awarded a special citation for dedication to the Arts through cultural exchange from the Brazilian Government. In 2008, he became the first saxophonist and one of the few Americans to ever win the “Kranichsteiner Musikpreis” of the International Music Institute Darmstadt, widely considered the most prestigious prize for the interpretation of new music. In addition to these awards, he has received grants from the Fromm Foundation of Harvard University, Ernst von Siemmens Stiftung, Trust for Mutual Understanding and National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts.
His repertoire ranges from the Baroque period to the contemporary and has performed and recorded many world premieres. In 2005, he performed and recorded Elliott Schwartz’s “Chamber Concerto IV” with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project for release of BMOP/Sound. These performances led esteemed Boston Globe music critic Richard Dyer to declare, “there is no question the future of his instrument is in safe hands.” In 2006, he gave the North American Premiere of Luciano Berio’s “Recits” in Jordan Hall, later recording it for Mode Records. At the 2007 Spoleto Festival USA, he gave the North American Premiere of Pascal Dusapin’s “To God” and several world premieres by Morton Feldman. In the Summer of 2011, he recorded his second album as a soloist with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, this time with a concerto he co-commissioned by Pulitzer Prize winner Lewis Spratlan. Since the Spring of 2011, he has been performing an hour-long concerto by David Fulmer entitled “On Night”. Thus far, performances have taken place at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Heidelberger Frühling Internationales Musikfestival, Moving Sounds Festival, Austrian Cultural Forum, Joyce Theater and Bohemian National Hall. In the Spring of 2012, he recorded “On Night” with the Argento Ensemble for release on Tzadik Records. In the Fall of 2012, he performed the work with the Slovenian Philharmonic under the direction of Matthias Pintscher.
Chamber music is vital to Eliot Gattegno’s life and work. He is regularly invited to perform at prestigious festivals including Marlboro Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Yellow Barn Music Festival, Darmstadt Festival, Domaine Forget, Shanghai Modern and Contempuls Prague. He is also a founding member of the Radnofsky Quartet, of which he has been performing with since 2002.
In recital, he has appeared in major halls across the world including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Miller Theatre, Jordan Hall, Aichi Arts Center Concert Hall in Nagoya, Japan and Zipper Concert Hall in Los Angeles on the Monday Evening Concert Series.
In addition to his performing career, Mr. Gattegno is a sought-after lecturer, teacher and chamber music coach. He is a former Fellow and Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University and has presented lectures and masterclasses at the University of California, Berkeley, Columbia University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Shanghai Conservatory and the Juilliard School. His writings on music have been published by Oxford University Press in The Grove Dictionary of American Music and by Schott Music in Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. A strong advocate for community engagement and service, Gattegno founded and directed a music program and concert series for abused and neglected children at the Home for Little Wanderers in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Eliot Gattegno is a Rico Artist and Conn-Selmer Artist, performing exclusively on Selmer Paris saxophones and Rico Classic Reserve Reeds. He is Professor of Saxophone at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music and divides his time between China and Los Angeles, California with his wife Lilli and their dog Henry.