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 Riga Saxophone Quartet

 Riga Saxophone Quartet

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Gint Paberzs

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Artis Simanis

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Anars Sablovskis

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Renars Lacis

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Presentation:
    The Riga Saxophone Quartet (RSQ) made its promising debut in 1992, and this marked the beginning of a new era of academic saxophone music in Latvia. At that time the ensemble’s personnel were different; the current members have been together since the year 2000. The only remaining original member is the quartet’s founder, Artis Simanis.
    The RSQ performs frequently not only in the concert halls of Latvia, but also in schools and churches, at receptions and exhibition openings, etc. For its active concertizing and high level of artistry, the RSQ received the Latvian Music Grand Prix in 1999, the highest award in music in Latvia. During the last concert seasons, the RSQ has performed in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Canada, China, USA, France and Croatia. It has participated in such internationally acclaimed music festivals as the Probaltica (Poland), Jazz Kaar (Estonia), Rainbow Jazz (Estonia), Upbeat (Norway and Sweden), the Baltic Cultural Festival (Finland), and the World Saxophone Congress (Montreal) in 2000. It has represented Riga in its cultural days in Warsaw, Porto, Lübeck, and Prague. The RSQ is the central axis for the International Saxophone Music Festival "SAXOPHONIA", which was held for the fourth time in 2005 in Latvia. The RSQ has earned wide acclaim from its audiences and from highly critical specialists; it has selected stylistically appealing repertoire, and has reached for the highest level of professionalism in its technical mastery and subtle musicianship. A significant role has been devoted to breaking the stereotype of the saxophone as a purely jazz instrument. The proof ? A wide-ranging repertoire: transcriptions of classics by J.S.Bach, Gabrieli, Handel, and Marcello on the one hand, and original 20th and 21st-century works (Andrew Poppy, Gabriel Jackson, Carleton Macy, Joe Cutler, Perry Goldstein and others) on the other hand, and yet another dimension is associated with the lyrical melodies and engaging rhythms of Latin American music, as exemplified by the Argentinean master Astor Piazzolla. And there is a fourth dimension as well: arrangements and original masterpieces by world-renowned jazz composers such as G. Gershwin, D. Gillespie, D. Ellington, Ph. Woods, M. Mower and others. An important part of the RSQ’s repertoire is comprised of works by Latvian composers written especially for this ensemble (Rihards Dubra, Ilze Arne, Alvils Altmanis, Selga Mence, Vineta Lice, Karlis Lacis). Some of these works are on the CD "Le Pont Mirabeau", which was recorded in collaboration with the French saxophonist Jean-Pierre Baraglioli. Works by Karlis Lacis have been performed together with the composer and with the Riga Chamber Players. The RSQ has also enjoyed a successful partnership with the Canadian saxophonist and composer Nic Gotham, who now resides in Latvia; together with the Latvian Radio Choir they have performed and recorded his chamber opera "Fruits of the Earth."

simanis@latnet.lv
Instruments: Alto and Baryton Super Action 80 Série II with the mouthpieces D and C*, Tenor Série III with a 90 mouthpiece, Soprano Mark VI with a D mouthpiece
“ Riga Saxophone Quartet equipment is chosen accurately following the specific sound bouquet of the saxophone quartet. The main point of our choice was harmony of common soud. ”
SONG AND DANCE
Latvian Radio Studio
2003