EUGENE ROUSSEAU (Blue Island, Illinois, 1932) studied at the Paris Conservatory on a Fulbright grant with Marcel Mule. Following his studies at the Paris Conservatory, he earned a doctorate degree at the University of Iowa (1998) where his principal teacher was Himie Voxman. Since his Carnegie Hall debut in 1965, Eugene Rousseau has performed across America and in five continents. He was among the first to give solo saxophone recitals in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, London and Amsterdam. Rousseau has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, the Pan-American Festival Orchestra under Lukas Foss, the Indianapolis Symphony under Raymond Leppard and Phillipe Entremont, the BBC Orchestra in London, the JanaÅLcek Philharmonic (Czech Republic), the Prague Symphony, the Kansai Philharmonic (Osaka), the Santiago Philharmonic (Chile) and many more. Rousseau has premiered numerous works written for him. The catalogue of Eugene Rousseau recordings includes more than a dozen discs. He holds the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Indiana University, having served on the IU faculty from 1964 to 2000. In 1969 he co-founded the World Saxophone Congress. Rousseau joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota School of Music in fall 2000. In 1993, Rousseau was awarded the rank of Honorary Professor at the Prague Conservatory. He has given a yearly master course at the prestigious Mozarteum in Salzburg from 1991 to 2001, marking the first time that the saxophone was included at that institution. Eugene Rousseau has numerous scholarly and pedagogical works to his credit, many of which have also been published in French, Japanese and German. In 1972, Yamaha Corporation, Japan, appointed Rousseau Chief Consultant for Saxophone Research and Development. Rousseau has also studied and researched the artistic and acoustic characteristics of saxophone mouthpieces, developing and overseeing production of a line of classical and jazz saxophone mouthpieces that bear his name.
Dutch saxophonist ARNO BORNKAMP (1959) is the archetype of the modern virtuoso, feeling equally at home in traditional and contemporary repertoire. Bornkamp studied at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam with Ed Bogaard and graduated in 1986 with the highest distinction. He has won many awards, the Silver Laurel of the Concertgebouw and the Netherlands Music Prize among the most noteworthy. The latter enabled him to go abroad, studying in France with Daniel Deffayet and Jean-Marie Londeix, in Japan with Ryo Noda as well as working with composers such as Luciano Berio and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Since his 1982 solo debut in Rome, he has played more than 250 concerts with orchestras around the world, including the most important works from the saxophone repertoire in addition to new concerti writtenespecially for him. Chamber music is also a great love of Arno Bornkamp. He has a long-standing duo with pianist Ivo Janssen and is part of the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet (one of the world’s most acclaimed saxophone quartet), which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2008. Arno Bornkamp is a renowned teacher, leading an international saxophone class at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. In summer he teaches the International Saxophone Masterclass in Laubach (Germany) and at the Universite d’Ete Europeenne pour saxophone in Gap (France). Arno Bornkamp’s many activities (concerts, festivals, masterclasses, lectures) have taken him to many countries in Europe, the USA, the Far East and South America. The many CD’s he has made since 1990 on various labels have garnered national and international praise.
Soloist, researcher and pedagogue, CLAUDE DELANGLE, one of the greatest contemporary saxophonists, stands out as the master of the French saxophone. After obtaining several outstanding First Prizes at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique of Paris, Claude Delangle was appointed professor in 1988, where he has created the most prestigious saxophone class in the world. Since 1986, he is invited saxophonist in the Ensemble Intercontemporain, he also appears as soloist with the most prestigious orchestras (London BBC, Radio France, Radio of Finland, WDR Koln, Berlin Philharmonic, Kioi Tokyo) and works with David Robertson, Peter Eotvos, Kent Nagano, Esa Pekka Salonen, Miung Wung Chung, Guilherme Bernstein and many other conductors. Privileged interpreter for classic works, he enriches the repertoire and encourages creation by collaborating with the most renowned composers, including Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Toru Takemitsu, Astor Piazzolla, and promoting the youngest. His recordings for BIS, Deutsche Grammophon, Harmonia Mundi, Erato and Verany bring out French music while revealing new musical horizons from the repertoire created by the brilliant Adolphe Sax to the avant-garde works or the popular repertoire. Passionate for his instrument, he goes beyond the work of the soloist and frequents the Musical Acoustic Laboratories of the University of Paris 7. The results of his research on specific acoustics of the saxophone are a precious asset in his collaboration with composers.
MATJAZ DREVENSEK is a a resident professor of saxophone and the Vice Dean at the University of Ljubljana Academy of Music, soloist and chamber musician; as the member of the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet and other ensembles he has given concerts in Europe, South America, Asia, Canada and the USA. As a soloist Drevenšek performs with the prominent symphonic and wind orchestras in Slovenia and abroad (France, Hong Kong, USA etc.), he is also solo saxophonist in the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the member and artistic co-director of S.O.S. (Sequoia Orchestra of Saxophones). Drevenšek was the member of many national and international juries (Bayreuth, Belgrade, Graz, Limoges, Nichelino/ Torino, Riga, Szczecinek, Zagreb etc.) and he has led numerous international summer schools and master-classes (Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Hvar, Krško, Ljubljana, Podsreda, Portorož, Zagreb, throughout the USA). Drevenšek has premiered more than 50 works of Slovenian and foreign composers, and he has taken part in 19 discography editions (which have won 8 Croatian Discography Awards Porin). Apart from being artistic director of the International Saxophone Meetings and International Saxophone Competition in Nova Gorica, he was also the president of Jeunesses Musicales Slovenia (2002 - 2006) and the president of the Saksofonija Music Society, which organized the 14th World Saxophone Congress in Ljubljana in 2006.
Dragan Sremec (Zagreb, 1958) graduated saxophone and earned his MA degree in the class of Josip Nochta at the Zagreb Academy of Music. He also graduated conducting in the class of Igor Gjadrov. He received further training in Paris with Daniel Deffayet as a French Government grantee and with Eugene Rousseau at the IU School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana as a Fulbright grantee. Dragan Sremec is professor of saxophone and the vice-dean at the Zagreb Music Academy, 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 prestigeous halls of many European countries, the USA, South America and Asia. Dragan Sremec played under the baton of distinguished conductors with all major orchestras in Croatia and Slovenia, with the Orchestra of the French Republican Guard, the US Navy Band and many more. He made a number of solo recordings for Croatian Radio and Television, a solo LP with the pianist Đorđe Stanetti, and with ZSQ he has taken part in 11 discographic editions which have won 7 Croatian Discography Awards Porin. He premiered over fifty works by foremost Croatian and Slovenian composers most of which were dedicated to him or to Zagreb Saxophone Quartet. Dragan Sremec served as a jury member at competitions in Dinant, Nova Gorica etc. and held numerous masterclasses and seminars in Croatia, Slovenia, Spain and the USA.
GORDAN TUDOR was born in 1982. After completing general secondary education and secondary musical training in his home town of Split, he enrolled in the saxophone program of the Music Academy in Zagreb under Dragan Sremec. He spent the summer of 2002 studying with Eugene Rousseau at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and, after receiving his degree in Zagreb, went on to study saxophone at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Arno Bornkamp. After receiving a scholarship from Amsterdamse Hoogeschool voor de Kunsten, he went on to study in Paris with Claude Delangle. In 2006 he graduated cum laude from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Goran Tudor is an assistant professor at the Academy of Arts in Split, ‘Josip Hatze’ Music School and a visiting saxophone professor at the Novi Sad Music Academy (Serbia). He is a member of the board of judges at many international competitions. Tudor has won numerous national and international saxophone competitions. He has received prestigeous awards, including the University Rector Award, Zagreb Philharmonics Award for the best young artist in Croatia, First Prize at the International Composition Competition - Marenostrum in Berlin, the Porin Award for the best classical music composition and many more. He is the alto saxophonist of the Papandopulo Quartet. He spent the summer of 2011 as the artist-in-residence of the BOAC - Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (North Adams, MA). He has performed in Europe and North America with various chamber ensembles as well as a soloist with numerous orchestras. Apart from teaching and performing extensively, during the past ten years Gordan Tudor has also been composing music for saxophone, chamber ensembles, electronic music, soundtracks for documentaries and cartoons, as well as music for theatre.
(ONLY FOR THE FINAL ROUND) Conductor and composer PAVLE DESPALJ (Blato, island of Korčula, 1934) graduated from the composition program of the University of Zagreb Music Academy in 1960, where he studied under Stjepan Šulek. Between 1962 and 1967 he was the chief conductor of the Zagreb Radio Television Symphony Orchestra. In 1968 he was appointed conductor and from 1970 to 1981 the music director of the Florida Symphony Orchestra and Opera in Orlando, Florida. Between 1981 and 1986 he was the chief conductor of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1987 to 1995 he was a tenured professor of conducting at the Music Academy in Zagreb. Between 1995 and 1998 he conducted the Tokyo Geidai Philharmonia and served as a professor at the Tokyo National University. Between 1998 and 2012 he was the chief conductor of the Croatian Chamber Orchestra, as well as the chief conductor of the Split Chamber Orchestra from 2000 to 2009. He often serves as a guest conductor to prominent Croatian orchestras. In the 2011/12 season he was once again appointed the chief conductor of the Croatian Radio Television Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted many prestigious symphony orchestras like the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, the Novosibirsk Philharmonics, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Park Symphony Orchestra in Chicago, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo and Yokohama Operas. He has recorded for Croatia Records, Cantus (HDS) and Opus (Bratislava), as well as for the Croatian Radio Television, Slovenian Radio Television and Hessischer Rundfunk (Frankfurt). Apart from being a conductor and teacher, maestro Dešpalj is a renowned composer. Pavle Dešpalj has received the highest professional and national recognitions and awards. He is an honorary citizen of Daytona Beach, a professor emeritus of the Tokyo National University and a regular member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.