Assistant Professor of Saxophone, University of Missouri - Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance
Alto Saxophonist, PRISM Quartet
Saxophonist, Zach Shemon enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and pedagogue. Recent appearances include performing as a concerto soloist in Russia with the Saint Petersburg Palaces International Music Festival Orchestra and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing John Adams’s Nixon in China under the composer’s baton. With the PRISM Quartet, he has collaborated saxophonists, Ravi Coltrane, Steve Lehman, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Greg Osby, Chris Potter, Tim Ries, and Miguel Zenón, among others. Based in Kansas City, Shemon has performed with the Kansas City Symphony and with the contemporary chamber music ensemble, newEar.
2017 marks Shemon’s 10th year as the alto saxophonist of the PRISM Quartet. Since joining the ensemble, PRISM has released numerous recordings on the Albany, innova, Naxos, New Dynamic, New Focus, and XAS labels and performed on many of the world’s leading festivals for contemporary music including the Bang on a Can Marathon, Beijing Modern Music Festival, and SONiC Festival. Shemon has performed with the quartet as a soloist with the Arizona State Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Cornell Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, and UMKC Wind Symphony, among others. PRISM is also committed to educational outreach and has held residencies at top music institutions around the world including the Beijing Central Conservatory, Curtis Institute, Eastman School of Music, Hartt School, University of Michigan, Princeton University, Rice University, Tianjin Conservatory, UMKC Conservatory, and Yale University, among others.
As a soloist, Shemon was awarded 1st prize at the inaugural International Saxophone Symposium and Competition in Columbus, GA. He has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Indiana University Philharmonic, the UMKC Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony, and the bands at the University of Michigan, as well as with the Michigan Philharmonic, and the Sioux City Symphony, among others. Active in the saxophone community, he regularly performs at national and regional conferences held by the North American Saxophone Alliance.
Shemon maintains a thriving studio of graduate and undergraduate saxophone majors at the University of Missouri - Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. His former students hold teaching positions at colleges, high schools, and middle schools throughout the country. He spends his summers on the faculties of the Interlochen Arts Camp, Interlochen Saxophone Summer Institute, and directing the Kansas City Saxophone Workshop. Shemon holds degrees in performance from Indiana University and the University of Michigan. He has also studied at the Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France and the Aspen Music Festival and School. His primary teachers are Donald Sinta and Otis Murphy.
Shemon is a Conn-Selmer artist and performs on Selmer (Paris) saxophones. As a D’Addario Woodwinds artist, he performs on Reserve reeds, aids in product research and design, and is an active clinician throughout the country.