Based in New York City, saxophonist Zach Herchen performs contemporary music and improvisation. His influences range across classical, jazz, and rock music. This, along with technical training in saxophone performance and audiovisual electronics, make Zach uniquely equipped for contemporary music. He is constantly collaborating with composers to create new works that range from classical duets to jazz-inspired improvisation poems and multimedia pieces. Always in search of something new, he has premiered dozens of pieces. His first CD, “Emerging Voices” (music for voice and sax, with singer Elisabeth Halliday), was crowd-funded, self-recorded, and self-released in 2011.
Zach has performed as a soloist in Italy, Sweden, and Germany and at New England Conservatory, Duke University, the SEAMUS National Conference, University of Richmond’s Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival, and Boston University’s Spectral Summer Professional Performance Workshop. He has played at the Look & Listen Festival, the 4th International Master-Class for Classical Saxophone, the 32nd International Saxophone Symposium, The Stone (NYC), Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Heinz Hall, and more. Zach has served on faculty at New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice and an artist-in-resident at Wildacres Retreat.
Heavily engaged in chamber music, Zach is the artistic director of Con Vivo Music and a founding member of First Construction (violin/sax/piano trio), Emerging Voices Project (voice/sax duo), Ruckus NYC (conference and concert about art and the web), AM/PM Sax Quartet, and No Signal (new music, improve, and sketch comedy ensemble). He performs with New Thread Sax Quartet, Rhymes With Opera, and Quiet City.
Outside of the classical realm, Zach performs with the Baltimore-based rock band Man Down, who recently released their second studio album “Somewhere Down In Florida”. He performed on Scott Alexander’s album “Scott Alexander Makes a Big Deal Out of It”. Zach has also performed with the Baltimore Afrobeat Society, Zozo Afrobeat, a Jim Hensen Foundation shadow puppet show, and local DJs.
Zach holds a MM and BM in Saxophone Performance (and a BM in Recording Arts Engineering) from The Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. At Peabody he performed with the Conservatory Avant-Garde Ensemble, Peabody Improvisation and Multimedia Ensemble, wind ensemble, jazz band, orchestras, and opera department. Zach is a recipient of the Richard Franko Goldman Prize for performance, a performance scholarship, and two Career Development Grants from Peabody. He has also received a Technology Fellowship Grant from Johns Hopkins.
He has performed with Steve Drury, Svet Stoyanov, Courtney Orlando, Mathias Reumert, Michael Formanek, Gary Thomas, Tim Murphy, McGregor Boyle, Ann Theresa Kang, and Rane Moore. Zach has studied with Gary Louie, Gary Thomas, Arno Bornkamp, Timothy McAllister, Vincent David, Jan Schulte-Bunert, and Ties Mellema.