UNCSA faculty member performed on Grammy-winning recording

Robert Young, assistant professor of saxophone at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, contributed to an album that won a 2018 Grammy Award.

Young, who joined the School of Music faculty in 2016, performed as a guest saxophonist with the PRISM Quartet, one of America’s foremost chamber ensembles which is featured on the album, “The Fifth Century.” The album, by professional chamber choir The Crossing, won the Grammy for Best Choral Performance. It was released in November 2016 by ECM Records.

Featured on the Chicago Tribune’s list of best classical albums of 2016, “The Fifth Century” is composed by Gavin Bryars. Young performed with PRISM Quartet on seven of nine tracks on the album.

The PRISM Quartet includes former UNCSA School of Music faculty member Taimur Sullivan.

The Grammy Awards were presented on Sunday, January 28.

Robert Young

More about Robert Young

Prior to joining UNCSA, Young held teaching positions at SUNY-Potsdam's Crane School of Music, Wichita State University, Albion College, and the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts. In the summers of 2007-2010 he was on the faculty of the M-Pulse Saxophone Workshop held at the University of Michigan, where he taught with renowned professor Donald Sinta. Young served as Secretary on the Executive Committee of the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) from 2013-15.  

Young has received numerous awards of regional, national, and international acclaim including semifinalist at the 2009 Concert Artists Guild International Competition (NYC), silver medalist at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, 3rd Prize Winner in the North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition, 1st prize of the Society of Musical Arts Competition, Winner of Tuesday Musicale of Detroit Competition, 1st Prize in the Josie Etta Daley Young Artist Competition, 3rd prize in the 2005 MTNA National Collegiate Young Artist Competition, 1st prize in the 2002 MTNA National Woodwind Competition, winner of the USC Young Artist Concerto Competition, and a finalist in the University of Michigan Concerto Competition.

In addition to the PRISM Quartet, he has performed with ensembles such as Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Charleston (SC) Symphony Orchestra, and University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared as a soloist with the Wichita State University Orchestra, Wichita State University Wind Ensemble, Minot Symphony Orchestra and the University of Michigan Concert Band.

Young has been invited as guest artist and clinician at several colleges and universities across the country including Rice University, University of North Texas, Curtis Institute of Music, University of South Carolina, Furman University, University of Idaho, Minot State University (ND), Oklahoma State University, and the University of Tennessee. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts (2010) and Master of Music (2008) degrees in saxophone performance from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Donald Sinta. At the University of Michigan, he studied jazz saxophone with Andrew Bishop and was a recipient of the Lawrence Teal Fellowship. Young received a Bachelor of Music in saxophone performance from the University of South Carolina (2006) where he studied with Clifford Leaman.

Young is a Conn-Selmer artist, and plays Selmer (Paris) saxophones exclusively. He is also endorsed by D’Addario and plays exclusively on D’Addario saxophone reeds.

by Lauren Whitaker

January 29, 2018