Born to Polish-American parents in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Lawrence Gwozdz has achieved an international reputation for his success in revealing the qualities inherent to the saxophone as intended originally by its inventor, Adolphe Sax.
His concerts have included major cities in Europe and North America: Chicago, Leipzig, London, Los Angeles, Manchester, New York, Prague, St. Louis, Zagreb, Zurich and others. His festival appearances—the Menuhin Festival, the International Chamber Music Festival of le Touquet, Spoleto USA—have received critical acclaim. European reviews declare, “Gwozdz is a most highly versed soloist” (Neue Züricher Nachrichten), with “amazing technique and tonal beauty” (Bundner Zeitung). His performance with I Solisti di Zagreb motivated the press to write, “Gwozdz uses his instrument with superiority and virtuosity” (Vjesnik).
His debut in New York’s Weill (Carnegie) Recital Hall was described in “Musical America” as an “extraordinary performance of contemporary music” with “the kind of timbre Adolphe Sax most likely had in mind … always with subtlety and taste” (New York Concert Review).
On television, Dr. Gwozdz appeared with famed organist Diane Bish on “The Joy of Music,” and has performed concerti and recitals on radio for the Dame Myra Hess series (Public Radio International), Czech Radio-Prague, Croatian Radio, Minnesota Public Radio, and many other networks.
His CD, “An American Tribute to Sigurd Rascher” (Crystal Records) has won high praise from critics. American Record Guide wrote, “The sound is first-class … Lovers of the saxophone will be pleased;” the reviewer in Fanfare penned, “It would be impossible to praise the performers too highly. Lawrence Gwozdz is an extraordinary saxophonist, bringing out a tremendous range of colors and effects in his instrument. I absolutely guarantee that you will enjoy it.” Albany Records has also released his CDs, “Rascher International”, “An American Concerto Tribute”, “Simply Gifts” with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, and the Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra with The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra on the CD “Hurricane!” His latest solo release is entitled “Special Hand’ling” (Roméo Records, distributed by Qualiton Imports). Gwozdz also has recorded “Glazunov and Erland von Koch: Concerti” with the Plovdiv Philharmonic, Nayden Todorov conducting. This recording was released by Music Minus One MMOMUS@aol.com in 2000.
Dr. Gwozdz is also known for his annotated translation of the German book “Das Saxophon” by Jaap Kool (Egon Publishing, Baldock, England). Various composers – Samuel Adler, Walter Hartley, Zdenek Lukas, Armand Russell, Robert Starer, Roger Vogel, John Worley and others – have dedicated new works to him.
As professor of saxophone at Southern Miss, he has established a studio that continues to receive worldwide attention. His student soloists, quartets and saxophone chamber orchestra perform in major cities, and are frequent winners of competitions.
Having been born with spina bifida, Dr. Gwozdz also is an advocate for arts for the handicapped and Very Special Arts. He also is active in the Campus Crusade for Christ’s Christian Faculty/Staff Forum.
Dr. Gwozdz has studied saxophone with Ronald Tyree, Robert Fought, Laurence Wyman, and the renowned artists Sigurd Rascher and Jean-Marie Londeix. His degrees include the D.M.A. from the University of Iowa, the M.M. from the University of Nebraska, and the B.M.E. from Fredonia State University College of New York.