J. Michael Weiss-Holmes
Head of Woodwinds and Artist-Teacher of Saxophone at Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts
Founding director of the Chicago Saxophone Institute at CCPA
Described by distinguished American composer John Corigliano as an "artist beyond his time," concert saxophonist, Don-Paul Kahl has performed throughout Europe, the United States, Australia, and South-East Asia. He has appeared as soloist with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the University of Florida Symphony Orchestra, the University of Florida Wind Symphony, and the Susquehanna University Orchestra.
An ardent supporter and advocate of contemporary and modern music, Don-Paul has been involved in the creation and performance of over 100 new works for saxophone by some of the most talented and award winning young composers of the time. Recent commissioned composers include Max Grafe, David Biedenbender, Nicolas Tzortzis, María Eugenia Luc, Gregory Wanamaker, Simone Movio, Chris Dench, Julien Malaussena, among many others.
As an avid and in-demand chamber musician, Don-Paul is active with the international interdisciplinary saxophone quartet, Ensemble du Bout du Monde (EBM), his duo with clarinetist, Jackie Glazier, Duo Entre-Nous (D2), and with a newly formed Belgian based reed quintet.
EBM regularly performs in major concert venues throughout Europe and Switzerland. Their upcoming seasons will include performances in Belgium, Switzerland, and the United States. Invited to major European concert venues and festivals, the quartet has gained international renown for their sensitivity, bold programming, and distinct entrepreneurship. In Spring of 2021, EBM will hold an Israeli tour, performing at major festivals throughout the country. In Fall 2021, they will travel to the US as guest artists for a major festival organized by the New England Conservatory.
Duo Entre-Nous is active throughout the United States giving concerts and masterclasses at major Universities there. In Europe they are invited to perform at festivals and conferences. They were invited guests at the prestigious Musica Nova festival in Kansas-City, Missouri in November 2019 and will be the headlining performance for the upcoming Kuraia Festival in 2020-2021. Previously, they gave the premiere of Scott McAllister's "Concerto Americana" in September 2015 with the University of Florida Wind Symphony and David Waybright conducting. In June 2017 they professionally recorded Gregory Wanamaker’s “Ragahoro Breakdown” for a new CD which was released April 2018 through PARMA Recordings - Navona Records Label. The duo has been recording new works by international composers for their upcoming album release, set to be released in Spring 2021.
Don-Paul was a prizewinner at the prestigious 4th Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition in Bangkok, Thailand. Recently, EBM won the third and special prizes at the International Chamber Music Competition in Illzach, France. In 2017, they garnered first and special prizes at the Concours d'Interprétation de la Ville de Boulogne-Billancourt. Don-Paul was also awarded the Harriett Hale Woolley Scholarship for academic study in Paris, France for the 2013-2014 year. Other awards include prizewinner in the 2013 Marco Fiorindo Chamber Music Competition, University of Florida Concerto Competition, and the Susquehanna University Concerto Competition, along with several others.
Don-Paul is an avid clinician and gives masterclasses throughout Europe and the United States. Currently, he serves on the faculty at the Susquehanna University High School Wind Ensemble Institute in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. He also holds the position of the saxophone chair in the Ocala Symphony Orchestra in Ocala, Florida. Previously, he has served on the adjunct faculty at the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Florida where he taught applied study in both saxophone and clarinet.
Currently, Don-Paul is living and working as a freelance saxophonist based both in Belgium and the United States. He is also a doctoral candidate for the Ph.D in Artistic Research in collaboration with Leiden University (NL) and the Orpheus Institute (BE). In 2017, he completed a post-graduate performatory research program at the Lemmensinstituut in Leuven, Belgium. Previously, he earned a Master of Music degree from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Music degree from Susquehanna University (Summa Cum Laude). His primary teachers and mentors are Jean-Michel Goury, Marcus Weiss, Jonathan Helton, Geoffrey Deibel, and Gail B. Levinsky, with additional study with Frederick L. Hemke.
Don-Paul Kahl is a Henri Selmer Paris and Conn-Selmer performing artist, and performs on Selmer Paris saxophones exclusively.
Dr. J. Michael Weiss-Holmes
Dr. J. Michael Weiss-Holmes is a talented solo and chamber musician who “… is one of the rising young saxophone stars in the United States” (Saxophone Journal). He “ranks among the very finest of today’s young intellectually and musically gifted saxophonists” (Dr. Frederick Hemke).
Professor Weiss-Holmes’ active playing career has seen him performing at some of the most prestigious venues around the United States, China, Australia, Taiwan, and Europe – notably, recent performances at Carnegie Hall with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Weiss-Holmes has received international acclaim as an orchestral saxophonist, and has performed as principal saxophonist with numerous orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Grant Park Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony. Weiss-Holmes has worked with such renown conductors as Riccardo Muti, Jaap van Zweden, Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, Michael Tilson Thomas, Stéphane Denève, and Marin Alsop… just to name a few. He has also shared the stage with artists such as Ben Folds, Jane Lynch, Sutton Foster, the Temptations, Manhattan Transfer, and Idina Menzel.
Dr. Weiss-Holmes is the Head of Woodwinds and Artist-Teacher of Saxophone at Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA), where he was also the Assistant Dean during the 2017-18 academic year. During his tenure at CCPA, Dr. Weiss-Holmes co-founded the Chicago Saxophone Day, along with Taimur Sullivan from Northwestern Unversity, and is the founding director of the Chicago Saxophone Institute at CCPA. He was previously on faculty at the University of Illinois, the College of Wooster, and the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Weiss-Holmes is the Marketing Director for the North American Saxophone Alliance and served as Director of Marketing for Saxophones at Conn-Selmer, Inc. and as Artistic Advisor and Product Specialist with Vandoren.
Professor Weiss-Holmes’ diverse background as a performer, educator and former member of the music industry have provided him with unique insight in preparing the next generation of music students for successful careers in their chosen field. As such, he has been invited to present clinics, masterclasses, and performances at some of the most prestigious saxophone programs both nationally and internationally. Weiss-Holmes is an active soloist of contemporary music and has commissioned and premiered numerous works for the saxophone. His performances have received great accolades and can be heard on the CSO Resound, Mark, NAXOS, Aucourant, SEAMUS and Klavier Record labels. Dr. Weiss-Holmes is the saxophonist on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Resound album’s release of a recording featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Riccardo Muti, playing an extended suite drawn from Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet ballet score. The Chicago Tribune describes this recording as “played here with a brilliance and panache that brought the dramatic narrative alive.”
Weiss-Holmes holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) and Master of Music (MM) in Saxophone Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois where he studied with Professor Debra Richtmeyer, and a Bachelors in Music Education (BME) from Bowling Green State University where he was a student of Distinguished Research/Artist Professor John Sampen. He had additional studies with saxophonists Jean-Marie Londeix, Fred Hemke, Claude Delangle, Griffin Campbell, Daniel Kientzy, and Eugene Rousseau. Dr. Weiss-Holmes is a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance and has performed in many of the national and regional conferences, as-well-as at the World Saxophone Congress. Dr. Weiss-Holmes was the co-host of the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference which was be held at the University of Illinois. He was recently a featured artist in the “We Are Vandoren” international ad campaign, appeared on the cover of the Sept/Oct 2012 Saxophone Journal, and is a Selmer Artist/Clinician as well as Vandoren Performing Artist. Michael is married to Brad Weiss-Holmes and resides in Chicago, IL and Southwest Florida.
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