Oskars Petrauskis

Oskars Petrauskis

Oskars Petrauskis (born July 31, 1981) is one of Latvia's brightest young musicians, endowed with a fantastic musical instinct.

Oskars Petrauskis studied at Auce Music School and Jāzeps Mediņš Riga Music Secondary School. He also studied saxophone at the Berlin University of the Arts with Prof. Johannes Ernst, receiving a bachelor's diploma (2005), and Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA) with Prof. Artis Sīmanis, graduating with a bachelor's degree (2005) and a master's degree (2007). He got additional training in Paris with the outstanding French saxophonist Vincent David and the professor at the Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMD) Claude Delangle.

Oskars is the winner of several major international competitions – he has won the Grand Prix at the Europe Yamaha Sax contest 2007 in Hamburg, he was a finalist in the EBU/Euroradio New Talent 2005, has won the Grand Prix at the Alps-Adria-Danube 2004 taking place in Slovenia, 1st prize in the Val Tidone competition in Milan, 2nd prize in the Hillari Karev competition in Tallinn, 3rd prize in the Gustav Bumke competition in Berlin.

He has been granted Selmer, the prestigious French company‘s scholarship Tremplin Jeaunes, the French government scholarship for studies in Paris, the Erasmus scholarship for studies in Germany, as well as the JVLMA and Swedbank Annual Award 2004. Oskars is also a laureate of the Latvian Music Recording Award 2009. In 2013, he was nominated for the Grand Music Award as one of the three brightest artists of the year and won public recognition prize. In 2019, Oskars won the Grand Music Award with the Latvian Radio Choir, Raimonds Petrauskis and Latvian Radio Big Band.

As a soloist he has performed with all leading Latvian orchestras - LNSO, LSO, State Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Riga, JVLMA Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Rīga, as well as Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. Oskars regularly performs not only in duet with his brother, the outstanding pianist Raimonds Petrauskis, but also with Xylem Trio and the Latvian organ music star Iveta Apkalna. He can play freely in almost any style, whether it is classical music or jazz, sounds of the sophisticated contemporary art or free improvisation.

In the summer of 2014, Oskars and Xylem Trio formed an excellent concert program with the outstanding vocal ensemble The King's Singers at the Latvian National Opera and Ballet. His repertoire has included Sonata for alto saxophone with piano by E. Denisov, which was Oskars‘ choice when graduating from the Berlin University of the Arts with excellence in 2007, F. Marten's Ballad for saxophone with orchestra, which brought him the title of a finalist in the EBU/Euroradio competition in 2005, Swedish expressionist M. Karkoff‘s Sonatine reading his brother Raimonds, for which Mr. Karkoff expressed his great satisfaction.

Giya Kancheli, Kristaps Pētersons, Jēkabs Nīmanis, Vilnis Šmidbergs, Ēriks Ešenvalds have all composed new works especially for Oskars, which were performed with the Latvian Radio Choir, Sinfonietta Rīga and the PPO Rīga orchestras in the period of 2007–2013. Oskars and his brother Raimonds Petrauskis improvise freely on Latvian folk tunes.

Music albums released to date: with Xylem Trio - Vēstule Ziemassvētkos (Letter at Christmas) (2008). In The Mood of Giya Kancheli (2009). The classical music album Mia (2010) together with Raimonds Petrauskis. Ballade by Alfred Reed with the Riga Professional Symphonic Band (2008). Round Giya Kancheli with Xylem Trio (2018).

Photo credit: lasha KUPRA shvili