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As one of America's leading concert saxophonists, John Sampen is particularly recognized as a distinguished artist in contemporary literature. He has commissioned over one hundred new works, including compositions by Adler, Babbitt, Bolcom, Cage, Rzewski, Rands and Shrude and has premiered saxophone versions of music by Lutosławski, Stockhausen and Tower.

In 1970, Sampen was recitalist and certificate winner at the prestigious International Geneva Concours in Switzerland. He has soloed with ensembles from all over the world, including the Nürnberg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Internazionale d'Italy, New Mexico Symphony and Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. 

As recipient of NEA and Meet the Composer grants, John Sampen has been involved with commissions and
premieres of new music by Albright, Babbitt, Martino and Subotnick. His London premiere of Subotnick's
“In Two Worlds” with the Electric Symphony featured him as the first classical performer to solo on
Yamaha's WX7 Wind Controller. The performance inspired an English critic to write of "the excellence,
the musicianship and the total involvement of John Sampen... tremendous passion and eloquence." 

Sampen has recorded with Belgian and Swiss National Radio and is represented on the Orion, CRI, Albany,
AMP and Capstone record labels. A clinician for the Conn-Selmer Company, he has presented masterclasses
at important universities and conservatories throughout Europe, Asia and North America.  In addition to
contemporary literature, Sampen regularly performs traditional saxophone repertoire in recital with
pianist/composer Marilyn Shrude. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and has studied with
Frederick Hemke, Donald Sinta and Larry Teal. Dr. Sampen is a Distinguished Artist Professor at
Bowling Green State University and is Past President of the North American Saxophone Alliance.

Listen to John Sampen's recordings of works by Marilyn Shrude, William Albright, Philip Glass, and more leading contemporary composers.

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Throughout his career as a performer and educator, John Sampen has commissioned and premiered pieces from composers like Milton Babbitt, Samuel Adler, Morton Subotnick, and John Luther Adams.  For a complete list (including regional premeires and consortiums) click here learned over the years and combined it into an approach that is friendly, approachable and effective. Contact me to find out more.

Distinguished Artist Professor, Dr. John Sampen has been teaching at Bowling Green State University for more than 30 years.  To learn more about the saxophone studio, take a look at the studio highlightslesson requirements, and reccommended repertoire.  You can also contact John Sampen at

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