Saxophonist Steven Banks was one of four winners in the final round of this year’s Young Concert Artists International Auditions on Sunday, November 17, in New York City. A faculty member at Ithaca College, Steven Banks earned his master of music degree at the Bienen School of Music in 2017 as a student of saxophone professor Taimur Sullivan. He is the first saxophonist winner in Young Concert Artists’ 58-year history.

Winners receive a three-year comprehensive management contract as members of the YCA roster and are presented in concert engagements across North America and abroad, including debut recitals in New York City and at Washington’s Kennedy Center. Past winners have included such luminaries as Dawn Upshaw, Pinchas Zuckerman, Emanuel Ax, Ida Kavafian, and the Jupiter String Quartet.

“Steven Banks is at the forefront of musicians of his generation in his display of the highest level of both artistry and pedagogy,” says Sullivan. “He is continually pushing the boundaries and perceptions of our instrument, and in turn is helping to elevate the field even at this early stage of his career.”

Also honored as a participant in the final round of auditions was trumpeter Ansel Norris, who received his bachelor of music degree from the Bienen School in 2016.