The Alliage Quintet (or, in its native Germany, Quintett) is a unique ensemble consisting of four saxophones and piano. The group's name comes from the French word "alliage," meaning alloy.
Based in Germany, the group is of thoroughly international makeup. It was founded by Canadian saxophonist Daniel Gauthier, who plays soprano saxophone. Gauthier received the first classical saxophone professorship in Germany in 1997; since 2003 he has taught at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. He is joined by Armenian-born, alto saxophonist Hayrapet Arakelyan (a student of Gauthier's in Cologne); two Germans: tenor saxophonist Simon Hanrath (also a Gauthier student) and Sebastian Pottmeier (a 1996 graduate of the University of Hanover) on baritone saxophone; and Korean pianist Jang Eun Bae, who, separately from the quintet, recorded the album Spirito Latino with Gauthier. The group cultivates unusual, almost symphonic sonorities in the grouping of saxophones.
The group's repertoire consists of arrangements of music of all eras for saxophone quartet and piano. All arrangements are made expressly for the Alliage Quintet; for new music the quintet works closely with the original composers. Some of the arrangements are made by Pottmeier. The Alliage Quintet has performed in concert halls across Europe, Asia, and North America, as well as at the prestigious Rheingau Music Festival and the Lucerne Festival. The group made its debut on Sony Classical in 2008 with a heavily reworked Four Seasons of Vivaldi and has gone on to record five albums for the label as of 2018. The 2011 album Voyage russes included arrangements of such Russian standards as Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, and was a accompanied by a tour of Russia. For the album Dancing Paris, the musicians collaborated with gypsy violinist József Lendvay on music by Milhaud, Satie, and Gershwin. The group's Lost in Temptation release, featuring seductive dances from a variety of musical eras, appeared in early 2018.