From the blog

April was a month filled with some pleasant experiences. First of all – composer Andris Dzenītis has released the CD, and it’s named after his saxophone concerto – “E(GO)” (which, of course is included in this record)! EGO   Later on, I spent two exciting days in Paris, where I went specially to test and purchase myself a new alto saxophone. Given “the offer I couldn’t refuse” couple of weeks earlier to sell my old Selmer (Super Action Serie II), that I have played for around 20 years, now I suddenly needed a new sax. This time I decided to switch to “Reference” model. I was surprised how my initial scepticism about laquer’s influence on sound was destroyed when I compared two “References” – one with Dark Gold finish, and the other with Matt finish. I liked how smooth the latter was when playing across the whole range, and how it stayed “dark” in upper register and it didn’t stick out, so I picked that one. Now I’m feeling happy with my new “partner” in music! It needs to be noted though, that although I like Selmer’s sound better, in my opinion Yanagisawa does the better job with key positionining. It’s feels like Yanagisawa’s keys are closer to your fingers so you can play faster and clearer with less effort while Selmer needs a little more finger practice and focus. Apart from testing saxophones I tried to spent some time touring Paris a little and among other places I visited Montmartre Cemetery. What a special place! paris-sax_kapas April was also a busy month for me as a juror of the competitions. I’ve been working in a jury for ensemble competition “Vēju ritmi” in Liepaja/Latvia, and two days later I was sitting in Vilnius/Lithuania judging young wind instrument players in a competition “Ventus Musicale”. This season was packed with different competitions like never before. I have to say it’s a nice experience, but also a very responsible and exausting job, that doesn’t seem like a big deal at first. Speaking of competitions, I always try to encourage my own students to participate in it. It’s a good motivation for practicing more, urge to compete, to be better. I think everybody needs this experience when they study. This year has been particularly successful for one of my students, Eduards Lācis, who has not only won the first prize in the National Competition for Wind Instruments, 3d prize in saxophone competition “Saxophonia”, but was also a prize winner in international competition in Poland, and also participated in competition “Ineses Galantes talanti” where he got 3nd prize. He also found time to jump in (successfully!) as a quartet member in annual Competition for Best Student Chamber Music Ensemble, organised by JVLMA. Later he, together with ~40 others, has been selected by Latvian Ministry of Culture from more than 200 other internationally successful young players to receive a special prize of honour. The prizes were given to students’ pianists and teachers too 🙂 Lacis_ministre“Lācis” means “a bear” in Latvian 🙂