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Jan Gričar: SAXGO22 classical saxophone

The upcoming festival SAXGO22 which also includes the International Saxophone Competition will be held across different venues in Nova Gorica from June 28 and July 8 and will present a series of 7 concerts with jazz and classical repertoires. The festival’s artistic directors Jan Gričar (classical saxophone) and Boštjan Simon (jazz and improvisation) have presented this year’s programme and the performing musicians.


ALL TOGETHER NOW – International Saxophone Competition 2018 – photo: Matej Vidmar

”ALL TOGETHER NOW” has become a well-known brand of the festival. The concert will be held on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, and will present world-renowned saxophone players, concertists and teachers who will take part in this year’s international competition jury. The first concert will feature a classical repertoire performed by French saxophone player, researcher and teacher Nicolas Prost, Polish saxophonist Alicja Wolynczyk-Raniszewska, member of the Zagreb based sax quartet and saxophone professor Dragan Sremec, Japanese saxophonist Asagi Ito and Slovenian saxophone professor and member of the 4Saxess quartet Dejan Prešiček. As for tradition, the concert will spotlight the interplay of different cultures, a diverse and colourful programme. Each musician will perform in ensemble setting and will present an original work.


The first highlight of this year’s classical part of the festival will be a concert by the French saxophone quartet Zahir on Thursday, July 7. According to the American Record Guide they offer “a huge range of dynamics, virtuosic romps, contagious enthusiasm, and hyper-expressive playing.” In 2017, the Zahir Quartet won the 9th International Chamber Music Competition in Osaka (Japan), gaining international recognition. They have since been invited to many famous concert halls. The Zahir Quartet is regarded as one of today’s best saxophone chamber ensembles, applauded both by the general and professional public. Their Slovenian debut will include new compositions written especially for their quartet, as well as arrangements of classical works made by the members of the quartet, adding new dimensions to the sound. In the morning of the same day, the quartet will conduct a masterclass at the Nova Gorica Music School.


The second highlight of the festival will happen on Friday, July 8. The SOS Junior Orchestra will perform an overture to the finals of the International Saxophone Competition with a repertory of classical, jazz and pop music. The orchestra consists of approximately 40 members, young saxophone players coming from 12 Slovenian music schools. Its primary goal is educating young players in orchestral performance and providing a creative environment which additionally motivates young musicians to engage in creating and performing music. One of their goals is also identifying exceptional musical talents in time, so that they can be properly and professionally instructed and oriented on their musical journey. The artistic leader of the orchestra is Lev Pupis, Slovenian soloist and saxophone professor.


SAXGO finals  2018 – photo: Matej Vidmar


The second part of the evening will be dedicated to the International Saxophone Competition finals, the final concert of the SAGO22 festival featuring four finalists, who will make it through the qualifications and semi-finals to the finals. The contestants come from all over the world, and as is the custom we also expect a colourful crowd this year. The Slovenian Armed Forces Orchestra led by Miha Rogina will accompany the finalists who will perform a compulsory piece by Milko Lazar written especially for the occasion. Moreover, they will also choose one of the works selected for the finals, written by three composers, namely Paul Creston, Ida Gotkovsky and Ingolf Dahl. The final performances will be concluded with the announcement of award winners.


SAXGO art director for classical saxophone


Jan Gričar (1992) belongs to the young prosperous Slovenian saxophone generation. He graduated with the highest grade ‘summa cum laude’ from the Academy of Music in Ljubljana in the classes of professors Matjaž Drevenšek and Miha Rogina. He continued his studies in France where he was a student of professor Vincent David at the Regional Conservatory in Versailles. He finished his master studies at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris in the class of professor Claude Delangle, where he also got a degree in chamber music in the class of professor Laszlo Hadady. He performs all over Slovenia and Europe as well as in Japan. As a soloist he has so far performed with the Vienna Symphonic orchestra, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, RTV Slovenia Symphonic Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. He has worked with the Ensemble Intercontemporain and renowned conductors such as En Shao, Matthias Pintscher, Anton Nanut and Marko Letonja. Gričar placed first in many national and international competitions such as TEMSIG – Slovenian Music Competition for Youth, Fiorindo International Music Competition, SVIREL – International Music Competition, International saxophone competition in Nova Gorica, etc. He was presented with the Škerjanc Award for special achievements in music by the Ljubljana Conservatory of Music and Ballet and two other significant awards by the University of Ljubljana, the Prešeren Award and the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award. He was also a Zois Scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture Slovenia for many years. He works as a professor of saxophone and chamber music at the Music and Ballet Conservatory in Ljubljana.



Read the full interview with Jan Gričar, SAXGO artistic director for classical saxophone





Barbara Poša Belingar
Odnosi z javnostmi, organizacija in
koordinacija kulturnih programov

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