Award-winning saxophonist, Dr. Jeffrey Heisler, has recently been appointed to the faculty of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University. He holds degrees from Bowling Green State University (D.M.A., M.M.) where he studied with Distinguished Research/Artist Professor John Sampen and Central Michigan University (B.M.E.) where he studied saxophone with John Nichol.
Among his significant accomplishments include a 2005 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition 1st prize gold medal as the soprano saxophonist with the Blue Square Saxophone Quartet, Outstanding Classical Instrumentalist in Downbeat Magazine’s (2002) Student Music Awards, and third prize at the 2005 MTNA National Chamber Music Competition.
In 2007, Heisler worked with the Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich on a transcription of her violin work Episodes for soprano saxophone and piano, a work of which he gave the world premiere.He also collaborated with electronic music pioneer and composer Morton Subotnick in creating a new version of his In Two Worlds for alto saxophone and interactive computer (MAX/MSP). In 2008, he performed the premieres of his composer approved transcriptions of Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint (for saxophone(s) and pre-recorded tape), Chen Yi’s Monologue (for solo soprano saxophone), and Louis Andriessen’s Elegy (for tenor saxophone and piano).
An advocate of contemporary music, Heisler promotes the creation of new repertoire for the saxophone by commissioning and premiering works by composers such as Louis Andriessen, Andres Carrizo, Halim El-Dabh, David Gillingham, Marc Mellits, Timothy Stulman, Marilyn Shrude, Andrea Reinkemeyer, Steve Reich, Chen Yi, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. In addition, he has presented the American premieres of Recit (Chemins VII) by Luciano Berio, Blitz by Vincent Dunet, Magic by Ivan Fedele, Entfuhrung by Karlheinz Stockhausen and in 2009, premiered Double Image, a concerto for saxophone(s) and wind ensemble by David R. Gillingham.
Heisler is in demand as a guest recitalist and has appeared at the prestigious Portes Ouvertes aux Noveaux Talents concert series in Paris, France, Ball State University’s New Music Festival, Grand Valley State University’s Free Play Concert Series, Central Michigan University’s Alumni Series, BGSU’s New Music & Art Festivals, the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conferences, and the XIII World Saxophone Congress. He has performed with Brave New Works, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Benny Goodman Orchestra, John Philip Sousa Band, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Midland Symphony Orchestra, and the Stuttgart Ballet Orchestra. As a clinician, Heisler has presented masterclasses at Bowling Green State University, Interlochen Arts Academy, Wayne State University, Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Malone University, and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.