The individual members of FIVE SAX are all established solo musicians, who represent a significant international presence and hold many prizes from important national and international competitions. The members converged in Vienna from around the world, united by a modern conception of virtuosity and the constant urge to push the limits of performance.The five musicians from Poland, Italy, Belgium, the USA and Chile each brings his own unique and vibrant personality to the group. The ensemble's imaginative programming mirrors the diversity of its members; rooted in classical music, while venturing into American jazz, south-American Latin styles and European folk music.
The ensemble began in an unusual way: performing street theater in the center of Vienna. Their first year performing together was an unforgettable experience of running from the police, surviving freezing temperatures and dealing with angry shopkeepers. The ensemble's past is echoed in their concerts by their use of theatrical elements, their strong connection with the audience, and their spontaneous approach to making music
American saxophonist Joel Diegert has had extensive saxophone training which began in the United States, and then lead him to Paris and eventually to Vienna. During this time he had the opportunity to study with world-renowned saxophonists Lars Mlekusch, Vincent David, Jean-Michel Goury and John Sampen. He has won prizes at several major international competitions, including his first-prize win of the 2006 North American Saxophone Alliance competition, and prizes at the 2011 Jean-Marie Londeix Saxophone Competition, the 2011 Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition, and the Saxiana International Chamber Music Competition in 2009. Joel has performed at prestigious venues, such as the Vienna Konzerthaus, RadioKulturhaus Vienna, Odeon Theater Vienna, the MuTh theater Vienna and the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. He has appeared in international festivals such as Wien Modern (Vienna), Vienna SaxFest, Synthermeia Festival (Greece), and many of the World Saxophone Congresses held around the world. He is dedicated to the development and promotion of contemporary music, having premiered countless works in collaboration with modern composers. Two of Joel's main chamber music projects, Solaris Duo (saxophone/piano) and Module Saxophone Quartet both specialize in contemporary music. Joel has also performed with ensembles including the Vienna Saxophonic Orchestra and PHACE.
Polish saxophonist Michal Knot has studied the saxophone under the guidance of internationally-renowned saxophonists Lars Mlekusch, Andrzej Rzymkowski, Enzo Filippetti and he has participated in masterclasses with many other famous saxophone professors. Michal has won the Grand Prix in the 2013 Fidelio Competition in the chamber music category and in 2012 in the creation category. He won the 2013 "Artist of the year" prize sponsored by HFP Steuerberater Wien, and he was awarded the "Młoda Polska" scholarship, given by Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Michal has performed in various concert halls such as Konzerthaus Berlin, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Vienna Konzerthaus, RadioKulturhaus Vienna, Liederhalle Beethovensaal in Stuttgart and Porgy and Bess Vienna. He has performed at festivals such as Wiener Festwochen, Bolzano Festival, Dni Muzyki Kompozytorów Krakowskich, The Malta Arts Festival, Allegro Vivo Kammermusik Festival, Kultursommer Nordhessen, Festival Suona Francese. Michal has premiered over twenty compositions, many of which were dedicated to him, by composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Zbigniew Bujarski, Maciej Jabłoński, Wojciech Ziemowit Zych, Christian Lauba, Wen Liu, Adrian Artacho, Markus Zierhofer and Alessandro Malizia. Michal is an active chamber musician performing with Italian pianist Luca Lavuri, Duo Aliada with Serbian accordionist Bogdan Laketic and Ensemble Enfants Terribles. He has participated in orchestral productions with the European Union Youth Orchestra and the Landesjugendorchester, with whom he recorded a CD for the German label Südwestrundfunk (SWR).
ALVARO COLLAO LEON
is a young Chilean saxophonist, whose saxophone studies began under the guidance of Maestro Miguel Villafruela, and later at the Conservatoire de Bordeaux with Marie-Bernardette Charrier and finally at the Vienna Konservatorium with Lars Mlekusch. He is a prize-winner of several national and international music competitions, such as the Pan American Competition Classic Saxophone Mexico and the Fidelio Competition in the creation category in Vienna. At the Young Soloists Competition he performed with the Symphony Orchestra of Chile. In 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013 he won the Tarapacá-Chile scholarship for talented musicians. He has performed in important venues in Latin America, Africa and Europe, including the Vienna Konzerthaus, Mozarteum Salzberg, Vienna Volksoper, Porgy and Bess Vienna, Music Academy Katowice, Bibliothèque Mériadeck, and in festivals such as Allegro Vivo Kammermusik Festival, Wiener Festwochen, the Saxophone Festival in Buenos Aires, Peru-Sax 2012, Saxfest Festival in Costa Rica, and the International Festival of the UNAM in Mexico City. He has participated as a soloist and in cooperation with the Symphonic Orchestra of Chile, ÖENM Österreich Ensemble für Neue Musik, Orchester Volkoper Wien, PHACE Ensemble, and the Vienna Saxophonic Orchestra.
is one of Belgium's most exciting young musicians. He studied saxophone at the the conservatorys of Ghent, Milan and Vienna with well-known professors such as Koen Maas, Raf Minten, Mario Marzi and Lars Mlekusch. Pieter is 1st prize-winner of five international and five national music competitions, including the Premio delle Arte Roma, Axion Classics Brussels, Prinses Christina Competition The Hague, Concours pour des Jeunes Saxophonistes Dinant. In 2012 he received a scholarship from the province of Limburg STROOM de plug-in voor talent in Limburg. Pieter is an active orchestral musician and has participated in several well-reviewed productions with orchestras such as the Filarmonica della Scala and in the Orchestra del'Academia della Scala, the Orchestra dell'Academia Santa Cecilia, the Brussels Philarmonic, the Wiener Jeunesse Orchestra, the Monnaie Opera House. Pieter is passionate about contemporary music and has premiered over 30 new works by composers such as Heather Frasch, Alexander Kaiser, Pasquale Corrado, Maarten De Splenter, Michael Norris, Bram van Camp, et al. His projects include a duo with pianiste Anastasia Kozhushko and V.Squad where he focuses on new music. In July 2011 he co-organised the Italian premiere of Stockhausen's Linkeraugentanz which took place at the festival Suoni e Imagine.
Damiano Grandesso is a young Italian saxophonist whose studies took place in Milan, Bordeaux and Vienna. He studied with world-renowned saxophonists, Lars Mlekusch, Marie Charrier, Dario Balzan, Marco Gerboni and Daniele Comoglio, Damiano is 1st prize winner of eleven international and national competitions and has won two scholarships from the Accademia Santa Cecilia Portogruaro.He has played in various international concert halls such as the Vienna Konzerthaus, RadioKulturHaus Vienna, Porgy and Bess in Vienna, MuTh Theater in Vienna, Concertgebouw Brugge, Flagey Arts Center in Brussels, Belgrade Concert Hall and Sala Verdi in Milan. He has played with the Brussels Philharmonic and the Belgrade Philharmonic.Damiano recently completed his premiere solo CD recording featuring new works written for him by composers Giovanni Bonato, Federico Zattera, Leonardo Schiavo, Alberto Schiavo, Gianni Giacomazzo, Mario Pagotto and PierDamiano Peretti. Damiano is an active chamber musician contributing to several ensembles including Duo Grandesso/Zulpo with pianist Massimo Zulpo and Milano Saxophone Quartet.
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