Summam indicabimus signo Σ. With this statement, one of the most important mathematicians in history, Léonard Euler, inaugurated in 1755 the use of the capital letter sigma (eighteenth of the Greek alphabet) as a sum symbol. Since then, Sigma represents the sum of a finite or infinite series of elements.
«Is it really necessary to introduce SIGMA Project in 2020? The vast quantity of concerts the group has performed during its ten-year trajectory, mainly in Europe and Latin America, the number of works commissioned during said time period, and its participation in eight albums ratify its remarkable role as one of the most active Spanish groups and as ambassador of newly created music».
— José Luis Besada, IRCAM/Strasbourg University
During its 10th anniversary international tour (2008-2018), the BBVA Foundation acknowledged SIGMA Project’s excellence by awarding the quartet the prestigious Leonardo Grant for Researchers and Musical Creators.
SIGMA Project (or, in other words, the combined talents of Andrés Gomis, Ángel Soria, Alberto Chaves, and Josetxo Silguero) is more than a saxophone quartet. It is a crucial conduit for the instrumental music of the 21st century. If the string quartet was the quintessential chamber music formation in past centuries, SIGMA Project claims that role for the saxophone quartet in the 21st century.
Based in Madrid since its creation, SIGMA Project, real ‘Ardittis’ of the saxophone (named as such by Scherzo magazine) has performed more than 150 concerts in auditoriums and festivals halfway across the world: in the United States of America, Jamaica, Buenos Aires (Teatro Colón), Bogotá (Teatro Mayor), Ciudad de Mexico (Palacio de Bellas Artes), Santiago de Chile (Auditorio GAM), Germany, France, Scotland, England, Italy, Poland, Romania, Croatia and Tunisia, as well as its own circuit in Spain.
SIGMA Project’s members see themselves as creative explorers that manage to stimulate the composers who approach their sound, generating new grammars in a real sound laboratory, such as the monographic cycles developed with the winners of the Spanish National Music Prize Alberto Posadas (Poética del Laberinto cycle) and José María Sánchez-Verdú (KHÔRA cycle) —both works are published on record by the prestigious German label Wergo, in 2020 and 2021, respectively— or the exciting collaborations with Luis De Pablo and Félix Ibarrondo in their corresponding concerts for saxophones and symphonic orchestra.
«… genuinely superb, accurate, inventive, and awe-inspiring performance by the Spaniards SIGMA Project. I thought this sort of precision could only come from a string quartet».
— Irvine Arditti (June 2017)
This search and research dynamic has crystalized for years in the strong relationship between SIGMA Project and Ernst Von Siemens Music Foundation. It has favored the premiere of works by composers such as Manuel Hidalgo (Spain), Simone Movio (Italy), Roberto Sierra (Puerto Rico), Raphaël Cendo (France), Hilda Paredes (Mexico) and Liza Lim (Australia). More than 50 world premieres have been carried out so far, by composers as renowned as José Manuel López López, Raquel García Tomás, Jesús Torres, Joan Magrané, Helga Arias, Ramon Lazkano, Héctor Parra, Sergio Blardony, José Luis Torá, Alberto Bernal, Voro García, Alberto Carretero (Spain), Wieland Hoban (Germany), Georgina Derberz, Javier Torres-Maldonado, Víctor Ibarra, Arturo Fuentes, Iván Naranjo, Hebert Vazquez, Sergio Luque, José Luís Hurtado (Mexico), Luis Miguel Delgado (Colombia), Miguel Farías (Chile), Mª Eugenia Luc, Fabian Panisello (Argentina) or Yair Klartag (Israel) and first performances in Spain by Sofía Gubaidulina, Salvatore Sciarrino, Peter Eötvös, George Friedrich Haas or Hugues Dufourt.
SIGMA Project’s distinct modularity ranges from the homogeneity of a formation of four equal instruments to their highest instrumental diversity. This quality is highly valued in current composition trends. The world premieres of Chaman, for four bass saxophones and electronics by Thierry Allá, or LaLibela, a concert for four bass saxophones and symphonic orchestra by Xavier Carbonell, exemplify said concern for innovation, inherent to the group.
They passionately develop their multidisciplinary work alongside other arts. Video, dance, literature, theatre or painting are naturally integrated into their concerts, while also rescuing music from the past with which they have a utopian relationship. Manifestations that endorse this trajectory are the premiere of the chamber operas 0.997 for long-distance runner, saxophone quartet, electronics and real-time video by Alberto Bernal and Songs of Innocence and Experience for four saxophonists and electronics by José Vicente Fuentes Castilla, the SIGMACIRCULO Festival promoted by SIGMA Project that took place at Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid or the program dedicated to the music of the Ars Subtilior and Ars Nova, developed together with Jesús Torres, winner of the National Prize of Music.
«Attending a concert by SIGMA Project is to go through a musical journey, where joy and wonder are a constant. Listening to Sigma Project is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding experiences you can have».
— Mario Lavista (Ibero-American Music Award Tomás Luis de Victoria 2013)
The prestigious German label WERGO has published in 2020 the Poética del Laberinto cycle, by Alberto Posadas; and in 2021 it will do likewise with the KHÔRA cycle, by José María Sánchez-Verdú. In addition, on the recording topic, SIGMA Project has its own record label, Sigmarecords. It has edited the Utopías: New Music for Saxophone Quartet CD and The Music for saxophone by Félix Ibarrondo DVD. Moreover, it has recorded for the BBVA Foundation (José Manuel López López and Gerardo Gombau monographs), IBS Classical (Fabian Panisello monograph), Orpheus Classical (Mª Eugenia Luc monograph), Casa Velázquez-Académie de France in Madrid (Víctor Ibarra monograph) and, invited by the German Ernst Von Siemens Music Foundation and with the Col Legno label, the Simone Movio monograph.
SIGMA Project’s international activity is supported by the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music of the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the Etxepare Basque Institute of the Basque Government’s Culture Department and the German Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.
«If I had to summarize the personality of the saxophone quartet SIGMA Project in two words, I would not hesitate: originality and perfection. It is a pleasure, a joy, to share music with them. They communicate music, they give it life».
— Luis de Pablo (National Music Award, Spain)