Carter Pann's saxophone quartet composition titled The Mechanics: Six From the Shop Floor was named as one of three finalists for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in music. The work was commissioned by the Capitol Quartet, which includes Penn State faculty member David Stambler, with financial assistance from The Margot Music Fund. The composition can be heard on the quartet's most recent recording, Balance, produced by Blue Griffin Recordings.
The six-movement suite imagines the four saxophonists as mechanics engaged in a rhythmic interplay of precision and messiness that is by turns bubbly, pulsing, dreamy and nostalgic (Blue Griffin). Each movement depicts an aspect of auto mechanics and/or the ‘grease monkey’ lifestyle.
For over twenty years, the Capitol Quartet has been a highly skilled ensemble with a tight but warm sound and some incredible ensemble technique. Each member is a highly skilled performer; among the best saxophone players in the world. As a group, the Capitol Quartet has advocated actively for music education in the schools as well as showcasing inventive and engaging new repertoire for the saxophone quartet. Other members of the Capitol Quartet include Christopher Creviston, Joe Lulloff, and Andrew Dahlke.
Composer/pianist Carter Pann has written for and worked with musicians around the world, garnering performances by ensembles such as the London Symphony and City of Birmingham Symphony, the Tchaikovsky Symphony in Moscow, many radio symphonies around Europe, the Seattle Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, the youth orchestras of New York and Chicago, and countless wind ensembles. He has written for Richard Stoltzman, the Antares Ensemble, the Capitol Saxophone Quartet, the West Coast Wind Quintet, the River Oaks Chamber Ensemble and many concert pianists. His String Quartet No. 2 “Operas” was commissioned by the Takács Quartet to premiere in the 2015-16 season. Pann has been awarded a Charles Ives Fellowship, a Masterprize seat in London and five Morton Gould ASCAP awards (including a Leo Kaplan award) over the years. His numerous albums encompass solo, vocal, chamber, orchestral and wind music and have received two Grammy® nominations to date. He currently teaches at the University of Colorado in Boulder.