Duo Montagnard was formed in 2002 and has performed over 160 concerts in more than 30 states, Canada, Slovenia, Greece, Denmark, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Festival performances include the Chautauqua Institution, the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival, Scandinavian Saxophone Festival, the UNC-Wilmington New Music for Guitar and Saxophone Festival, and the Alexandria Guitar Festival. Programs include compositions by Robert Beaser, Chick Corea, Jacques Ibert, David Kechley, Astor Piazzolla, Maurice Ravel, Terry Riley, Roberto Sierra, Toru Takemitsu, Ralph Towner, and Heitor Villa-Lobos. Recent commissions include pieces by John Anthony Lennon, Jonathan Elliott, John Orfe, James Crowley, George Daravelis, Andrew Walters, and Charles Stolte.
Joseph Murphy has been the saxophone professor at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania since 1987, where he has also served as Department Chair and Director of Bands. He received the Bachelor of Music degree from Bowling Green State University (OH), and the Master of Music and Doctoral of Musical Arts degrees from Northwestern University. Dr. Murphy was the music director of Tiffin (OH) Calvert High School from 1983-85. In 1985-86 he received a Fulbright Award for a year of study in Bordeaux, France, where he received a Premier Prix. In June 1996, Dr. Murphy performed a solo recital at Lincoln Center. He has performed in Europe, Taiwan and Japan. He is a clinician for the Selmer Corporation and has been recorded on the Erol (France), Opus One, and Mark Record labels. Dr. Murphy's memberships include Music Educators National Conference, Music Teachers National Association, North American Saxophone Alliance, National Association of College Wind & Percussion Instructors, College Band Directors National Association, Phi Mu Alpha and Kappa Kappa Psi. Murphy has been involved in commissioning and premiering more than twenty new works for the saxophone, including pieces by Libby Larsen, Michael Colgrass, John Harbison, Bernard Rands, and Gunther Schuller.
Matthew Slotkin is an acclaimed performer, teacher, and scholar, and has appeared in leading venues throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He has achieved success in solo performance, chamber music, and as a soloist with orchestra. A commitment to the promulgation of new compositions has resulted in numerous premieres of works by composers including John Anthony Lennon, Scott Lindroth, John Orfe, and many others. Recent performances include tours of New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Greece, as well as concerts at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Monadnock Music Festival, the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival, the Guitar Foundation of America, the Chautauqua Institution, and the World Saxophone Congresses in both Thailand and Slovenia. He has given performances with many prominent chamber ensembles including the Metropolis Ensemble, the Mallarmé Chamber Players, Duo Montagnard (with Joseph Murphy, saxophone), and Dez Cordas (with Craig Butterfield, double bass). American Record Guide praised Slotkin on his Centaur Records release, Twentieth Century Music for Guitar, for his “musical sensitivity and technical control,” and for giving “strong readings of this appealing music.” Soundboard magazine called him an “exceptional” player, and a recent concert review from the Classical Voice of North Carolina stated that “Slotkin performed brilliantly.” Centaur Records released his new recording with double bassist Craig Butterfield, “Dances, Songs, Inventions,” in February 2010, which was called “wonderful” by WRUV radio (Burlington, VT), and “very enjoyable” by Soundboard magazine. Slotkin directs the guitar program at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA and has previously taught at Mansfield University, Buffalo State College, and Alfred University. He has given masterclasses at numerous institutions and festivals including the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the University of Melbourne, the Alexandria Guitar Festival, and many others. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts, Master of Music, and Bachelor of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied guitar with Nicholas Goluses and historical performance practice with Paul O’Dette.