Adolphe Sax was a remarkable inventor, a talented businessman and an excellent musician, who learnt the art of instrument building from his father, Charles-Joseph. In his workshops, he conceived numerous improvements for musical instruments, never failing to patent his innovations.
His first successes rapidly led to the development of an entirely new series of instruments, to which he gave his own name –saxhorns, saxotrombas and saxtubas, thus– and which immediately gained great popularity. His masterpiece, though, remains incontestably the saxophone, an instrument he immediately set about developing into an entire family, from the sopranino to the bourdon.
The curator of the exhibition, Géry Dumoulin, presents both the catalogue and the exhibition within a four-heading framework that tells the lively story of this incomparable innovator. It covers all the major aspects of Sax’s life, his inventions, his business and private life, and also touches on a number of less well known results of his fertile creativity, such as the medical appliances that he designed.
The 200th anniversary of the birth of Adolphe Sax (Dinant, 6 November 1814 – Paris, 7 February 1894) is upon us. The exhibition SAX200 thus provides the occasion to pay full tribute to his creations and the fresh wind he caused to blow through the musical life of his times. For the event, the Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels has dusted off its most important collection of instruments and documents connected with this imaginative inventor, adding to it items lent by top private and public collections in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, Finland and the United States.
Keywords: Adolphe Sax, catalogue, exhibition, music instruments, saxophones, saxhorns, saxotrombas, saxtubas.