Claude Delangle (F), soloist, researcher and pedagogue, one of the greatest contemporary saxophonists, stands out as the master of the French saxophone. Privileged interpreter of classical works, he is constantly expanding his repertoire and stimulates creation by cooperating with renowned composers and promoting the youngest ones. He performed as a soloist with the most prestigious orchestras. His recordings for BIS open up new musical horizons with a repertoire ranging from Adolphe Sax to avant-garde or popular music. In 1988, he was appointed professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, where he created the most prestigious saxophone class in the world. He is currently in charge of a collection at the Henri-Lemoine-Paris publications and the sound designer of the famous Henri Selmer-Paris saxophones.
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Nenad Firšt SLO
Having graduated in composition and violin from the Music Academy of Ljubljana Nenad Firšt (SLO) perfected his knowledge in international classes in Slovenia, Hungary and France. Today, he is Head of Musical Activities at the Celeia Institute in Celje, General Secretary of the Musical Youth of Slovenia, as well as Art Director and Conductor of the Celje Strings Orchestra since 1988. More than one hundred solo, chamber and symphony compositions by Nenad Firšt—also featuring on thirty albums by renowned Slovenian and international artists and orchestras—have been presented in concerts and festivals across Europe, North and South America Asia and Australia. He has received an array of prizes and recognitions, including the 2009 Prešeren Fund Prize for his life-time achievements as a composer. He has been President of the Slovenian Association of Composers since 2010.
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Joonatan Rautiola (FIN) studied with Pekka Savijoki at the Sibelius Academy, with Nicolas Prost and Christian Wirth in Paris and with Claude Delangle at the Paris Conservatory from which he graduated in 2010. He has appeared as a soloist with the Düsseldorfer Symfoniker, Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra among others. Since his recital debut at New York's Carnegie Hall in 2005, he has been giving recitals around the world. He premiered numerous contemporary works.
Joonatan Rautiola's numerous awards in international competitions include the first prize at the Nova Gorica International Saxophone Competition and the fourth prize at the Concours International Adolphe Sax in Dinant, Belgium.
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Timothy McAllister (USA) is one of America's premier concert saxophone performers and a champion of contemporary music. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and other degrees in music education, conducting and performance from the University of Michigan School of Music. His solo, orchestral, and chamber music recordings appear on numerous publications. McAllister is an in-demand orchestral musician invited to appear as guest saxophonist in the wind sections of various Symphony Orchestras. Since 2001 he has appeared frequently on major chamber music series and international festivals as soprano saxophonist. He is a dedicated teacher of his instrument; he serves as Professor of Saxophone and co-director of the Institute for New Music at Northwestern University's School of Music. He also received invitations to visiting positions and residencies at various international universities.
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Vincent David (F) is the leader of a generation of saxophonists expanding the musical and technical possibilities offered by the instrument. Having won three international awards during his studies, he is an accomplished and renowned musician. He has been working with Intercontemporain Ensemble, a concerting group, ever since 1998. David Vincent cooperated with a range of world-renowned composers and continues to be actively involved in improvised music (jazz and contemporary). Vincent David has led numerous master-classes across the world and has become a recognized teacher; while trying to pass down his experience and knowledge, he is also transmitting his passion for music. Open-mindedness and artistic curiosity are the main traits of his teaching at the CRR de Versailles. Director of a collection at Editions Billaudot, David also makes transcriptions for saxophone.
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Matjaž Drevenšek (SLO) is a resident professor of saxophone at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, a soloist, chamber performer, member of the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet and of other ensembles with whom he performs throughout Europe, Asia, Canada, South America and the USA. As a soloist, he plays with leading symphony orchestras and concert bands at home and abroad (Croatia, France, Hong Kong, USA), he is also a saxophone soloist in the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra. As a member of juries, he has collaborated at Slovenian and international competitions for young musicians. He has premiered over 50 pieces by domestic and foreign composers, and he has taken part in 19 discographic projects. He was formally president of the Saksofonija Music Society, which during the summer of 2006 hosted the 14th World Saxophone Congress. He has also served as president of the Jeunesses Musicales Slovenia. Since 2004 he is the artistic director of the International Saxophone Meetings and International Saxophone Competition in Nova Gorica.
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DEJAN PRESICEK (SLO)        Secretary of the Competition:
Dejan Prešicek (SLO) graduated from the Frankfurt Music Academy and continued his studies at Jean-Marie Londeix’s masterclass in Bordeaux, where he was awarded a Gold medal as well as the Prize of honor of the City of Bordeaux. At present, he is a member of the Slavko Osterc Trio and Ensemble 4Saxess, and a co-founder of the Saksofonija Music Society. He has recorded for RTV Slovenia and various radio and television houses (BBC London, state German stations, Radio Lisboa), and has participated in recording numerous CDs. He works as a director and teacher for saxophone and chamber music at the Ljubljana Music and Ballet Conservatory. He is a part-time lecturer at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana.
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EN SHAO (CHI)        
Born in Tianjin in China, En Shao (CN) started to play the piano and violin at the ages of four and five respectively and by the age of 18 was working as a composer, pianist and percussionist with a local orchestra. After graduating from the Bejing Central Conservatory he became residence Conductor of the Chinese Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China and the National Youth Orchestra of China.
As Associate Conductor, Principal Conductor and Music Director he has worked in the UK ( BBC Philharmonic, Ulster), Spain ( Euskadi Orchestra) and in China ( Macau, Taipei).
Maestro Shao has conducted many prestigous orchestras and he is currently the Chief Conductor of the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra and the Principal Guest Conductor of the China National Symphony Orchestra.
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Zoltan Peter (SLO) began his academic studies in the class of Arbo Valdma at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad and completed his piano studies at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana. As a soloist, chamber musician and piano accompanist for all generations of top musicians, he has performed across Slovenia and abroad. As one of the finest chamber and piano accompanists in the region, he has mastered an extensive repertoire and has taken part in countless domestic and international masterclasses and competitions. Apart from teaching and performing, he also gives seminars for piano students, teachers and piano accompanists.
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