JURY, DIRECTOR and PIANO ACCOMPANIST
JURY, DIRECTOR and PIANO ACCOMPANIST
Nicolas Prost (F) – president of the jury
Modern and imaginative saxophonist, French saxophonist Nicolas Prost likes to combine classical and contemporary music with improvisation, Voice, Gesture and Electronics environment. His activity is marked by a concern for the development of concert repertoires. He ensures the creation of a hundred concertante works and chamber music (from Thierry Escaich to Chris Potter) and tirelessly conducts research work on forgotten works of heritage for classical saxophone published by Klarthe and Lemoine editions. Professor at Saint-Maur Conservatoire, Nicolas Prost gives Master-classes and Conferences in prestigious international universities. He manages the Saxiana collection and signs several educational works. Nicolas Prost is also a saxophonist of the Ensemble Variances, the Trio Saxiana and the Duo BorderJazz which take him to the 4 corners of the world. Nicolas Prost performs as a Soloist with numerous orchestras as Philarmonie de Mexico, London European Camerata, OS Bangkok, Suisse-Romande, Strasbourg Philarmonique, Capitole de Toulouse, Concerts Lamoureux, etc. His rich discography receives numerous distinctions.
Asagi Ito (JPN)
Asagi Ito is a Japanese saxophonist based in Brussels. She studied the saxophone at the Tokyo National University of Fine arts and Music (Bachelor Degree) and the National Conservatory of Paris (Master Degree). She has been granted a scholarship to study in France from the Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artists. She has distinguished herself in numerous international competitions, she has won the 4th prize of the 4th Jean-Marie Londeix international saxophone competition (2014), 2nd prize of the Japan wind and percussion competition (2008) and 1st prize of the 3rd Saxophone competition in Paris (2012) and was a finalist of the Adolphe Sax international saxophone competition (France, l’Haÿ-les-Roses, 2012). As an orchestral saxophonist she is highly in demand in Japan and Europe. She played in orchestras like the Tokyo philharmonic orchestra, the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, the Sendai philharmonic orchestra, the Brussels Philharmonic, the National Opera “La Monnaie”, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, the Ensemble Spectra, the Ensemble Ictus, and the Aachen Symphony Orchestra (Germany). She has performed recitals in Japan, China, Singapore, Thailand, Belgium, France, Sweden, etc. She is invited as a guest teacher every year by the Asia Pacific Saxophone Academy in Thailand, and she is the assistant teacher in the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (French side).
Jan Gričar (SI)
Jan Gričar (1992) is part of the younger generation of successful Slovenian musicians. He graduated with highest honours from the Academy of Music in Ljubljana under the supervision of Matjaž Drevenšek and Miha Rogina. He continued his music career in France, where he studied at the Regional Conservatory of Versailles under Vincent David, and obtained a masters’ degree at the prestigious Paris Music Conservatory under the supervision of Claude Delangle. Moreover, he obtained a bachelors’ degree in chamber music with Laszlo Hadady. He regularly performs all over Slovenia, Europe and in Japan. As a soloist, he performed with the Vienna Symphonic orchestra, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, RTV Slovenia Symphonic Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. In his career, 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 given 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 pedagogue at the Music and Ballet Conservatory in Ljubljana, where he teaches saxophone and chamber music.
Dragan Sremec (CRO)
Dragan Sremec graduated saxophone and earned his MA degree in the class of J. Nochta at the University of Zagreb Academy of Music. He also graduated conducting in the class of I. Gjadrov at the same university. He received further training in Paris with D. Deffayet as a French Government grantee and with Dr. E. Rousseau at the IU School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana as a Fulbright grantee. He is professor of saxophone and was the vice-dean at the Academy of Music in Zagreb for many years, artistic director and founder of the International Saxophone Competition Josip Nochta, artistic director of the XVIII World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb 2018 and a member of the International Saxophone Committee. In 2008, he founded the Saxophone Class at the Music Academy of Sarajevo University where he taught until 2016. He is the founder of the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet and for many years he was the principal saxophonist with the Zagreb Philharmonic and the Croatian Radio Television Symphony Orchestra. He earned many major prizes as a saxophone soloist at competitions in former Yugoslavia and with the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet. He performed as a soloist and as a member of the Zagreb Saxophone quartet in prestigious halls of many European countries, the USA, South and Central America and Asia and under the baton of distinguished conductors with all major orchestras. He made a number of solo recordings for Croatian Radio and Television. He has premiered over fifty works by foremost Croatian and Slovenian composers most of which were dedicated to him or to Zagreb Saxophone Quartet. Sremec served as a jury member at big international competitions and held numerous master classes and seminars in Croatia, France, Costa Rica, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain and the USA.
Alicja Wołyńczyk-Raniszewska (PL)
Dr. Alicja Wołyńczyk-Raniszewska received her PhD in Chopin University of Music (Warsaw), and perfected her skills during masterclasses with renowned saxophonists (A. Bornkamp, V. David, etc.). She has been teaching saxophone in music schools (Warsaw) and received several awards for her pedagogical work in Poland. Was a jury member, lecturer of workshops in Poland, Lithuania, Slovenia and France. She is recognized as one of the most effective teachers in the secondary music school’s level. Buffet Senzo artist. Played in European Saxophone Ensemble. Co-author of Austria meets Poland project. Was a soloist with Sinfonia Viva in National Philharmonic, Intermezzo chamber orchestra, L’Harmonie des Lambres (France), AMFC Wind Orchestra. She cooperated with the finest Polish orchestras (National Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia), under M. Minkowski, J. Furst, E. Siebens, K. Penderecki. Played at music festivals, such as Warsaw Autumn, Musica Polonica Nova, Festival Franço-Polonais, La Folles Journée, Printemps. She also performed at World Saxophone Congresses. Cooperates willingly with composers (A.M. Huszcza, A. Gronau, D. Przybylski, etc.). Her debut CD Saxophone Conversations received five stars review in Hi-Fi Magazine.
Milko Lazar (SI) – composer, only in finals
Milko Lazar is a composer, pianist, harpsichordist and saxophonist and is currently working freelance in the fields of contemporary classical and jazz music. He studied classical piano, jazz piano and saxophone at the Music Academy in Graz, Austria, harpsichord and baroque music at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag, Holland. For 15 year he was engaged with Big Band RTV Slovenia and other orchestras abroad as a solo saxophonist and composer- conductor. He is regularly composing for two of the best symphonic orchestras in Slovenia and main theatres in Germany and Switzerland. His opus includes large number of orchestral works, operas, chamber works, vocal and jazz compositions and works for contemporary ballet performances. Most of them have already been performed by his or other international ensembles all over Europe, USA, China, Rusia and South America. Besides orchestral and chamber works he regularly composes for numerous film producers, theatres and dance performers in Slovenia and abroad. From 2008 he is regularly working and performing with world known dancer and choreographer Edward Clug. Together they have made sixteen ballet performances across Europe. His recent projects include orchestral ballet music among others the late full-length ballet Master and Margarita in Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 2021 in Edward Clug’s choreography. He recorded over 50 LPs and CDs with different ensembles and 30 solo projects.
Miha Rogina (SLO) – conductor, only in finals
Miha Rogina, has been described as ‘The best saxophonist of today’s younger generation’ by The Sax Magazine. He is accredited for his innovative interpretations of musical works. He has won 1st prize at 10 international competitions. He has worked with today’s leading musicians including P. Boulez and F. Luisi and appeared at major international concert stages throughout Europe, Asia, the USA and Africa. He first studied at the Ljubljana Music Academy with M. Drevenšek, and continued his studies in France with Jean-Yves Fourmeau, V. David and at the prestigious CNSM de Paris with C. Delangle, where he graduated with highest honours. He also studied at the renowned Eastman School of Music in the USA. In 2015 he graduated orchestral conducting from the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna. In 2019 he also graduated choral conducting from the same university. As soloist he performed with a number of orchestras, including the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, symphonic orchestras such as Hoffer, Bruges, Saint Maur and Paris Laureates and Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the RTV Slovenia Symphonic Orchestra. He is an active chamber musician. He works with concert pianist Sae Lee with whom they perform worldwide as the Duo Kalypso. Miha Rogina is professor at the Music Academy of the Ljubljana University and has been a guest lecturer at Senzoku Gakuen University in Tokyo since 2013. As a conductor he has led orchestras in Slovenia, Check Republic and Slovakia.
DIRECTOR OF THE COMPETITION & PIANO ACCOMPANIST
DIRECTOR OF THE COMPETITION & PIANO ACCOMPANIST
Matjaž Drevenšek (SI) – director of the competition
Prof. mag. Matjaž Drevenšek, MSc is professor of saxophone at the Academy of Music of the University of Ljubljana. As a soloist and chamber musician (a member of the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet, LJD Ensemble and other classical, jazz and rock bands) he performs in Europe, South and Central America, Asia, Canada and the USA. As a soloist he plays with symphony and wind orchestras at home and abroad: the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Maribor Philharmonic, Slovenian Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra, Slovenian Military Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Croatian Radio television Symphony and Jazz Orchestra, Zagreb Soloists, Croatian Chamber Orchestra, Croatian Army Symphony Wind Orchestra, French Republican Guard Orchestra, Hong Kong Festival Wind Orchestra, Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra (UK), Emory Wind Ensemble and University of Minnesota Symphonic Wind Ensemble (USA) and the San José Concert Band, Costa Rica. Prof. Drevenšek is a jury member in national and international competitions for young musicians (Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Northern Macedonia, Poland, Serbia) and conducts numerous summer schools and master classes in Europe, Asia, Central America and the USA. He has premiered some eighty compositions by domestic and foreign authors, and participated in twenty-one recorded releases. He has been artistic director of International Saxophone Meetings SAXGO and International Saxophone Competition in Nova Gorica. He is Vice-Rector of the University of Ljubljana for the Arts (2021—2025).
Sae Lee (JPN, SI) – piano accompanist
Sae Lee is one of the most sought-after collaborative pianists of her generation. Her ability to interact with other musicians with exceptional instrumental and artistic level captivate audiences. (Mainich newspaper) She appeared at important festivals and events such as Piano festival Enghien (France), International conference Nevada-Semipalatinsk organized by Kazakhstan government & UNESCO and Japanese National TV program Classic-club. As soloist she performed with a number of orchestras worldwide including the Sofia Philharmonic, Kansai philharmonic and Slovenian philharmonic orchestra. Her collaboration is not only with musicians but also with well-known ballet dancers like Aurélie Dupont (director of Paris opera ballet) and Kevin O’Hare (director of The Royale Ballet). After studying at the University of Music TOHO-Gakuen, Continued her studies of Piano and Chamber music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris with Michel Beroff and Eric Le Sage. In June 2007 and 2008 she graduated with the highest marks. She was a winner at many national and international competitions, including the International Competition of Citta di Padova, the International Piano Competition of Albert Roussel. Sae is currently employed at the Ljubljana Academy of Music.