Sax, Antoine Joseph



Eldest son of Charles Joseph Sax, the famous Belgian instrument-maker, who became like his father justly celebrated for his inventions and improvements of brass instruments. The younger Sax invented the Sax instruments, including the sax horn and the saxophones, and other varieties. He invented the former in 1845 and the latter the following year. He was born at Dinant, his father's native town, and studied flute and clarinet at the Brussels Conservatory with Bender, whose favorite pupil he was. He early devoted himself to the improvement of instruments, especially the clarinet. He exhibited at various expositions in Europe and has been awarded many prizes. In spite of the success of his instruments he became bankrupt in 1852. Later, through the assistance of Berlioz and other musicians who highly praised his inventions, he received pecuniary assistance and reconstructed his business. In 1857 he received the appointment of professor of the saxophone at the Paris Conservatory. While in this position he wrote a valuable method for the sax horn. His saxophones have now been adopted by military bands all over the world.