MEMBERS OF THE JURY 2018
P R E S I D E N T O F T H E J U R Y
Jean-Denis Michat (FR) graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris with a degree in saxophone as well as in composition, analysis, music history and new music technology. At the age of 25, he was appointed saxophone professor at the Conservatoire National de Région in Lyon, and later he was promoted to assistant-professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris (CNSMDP). He teaches at masterclasses in France and abroad to saxophone students as well as to tutors, he also teaches at saxophone summer schools in Gap (France). He is also a jury member at international competitions. As a concert performer, Jean-Denis Michat is recognized for the high quality of his performances of classical pieces, and is known for devoting careful attention to transcriptions of the classical literature. As a leading artist he collaborates, assists and takes part in developing and promoting the manufacturing of the Yanagisawa Saxophone. He has not only premiered the pieces by renowned composers, such as Stockhausen, Mantovani, Ton That Tiêt, Escaich, Levy, Merah and others to consistent acclaim, but he is also becoming well-known as a composer.
M E M B E R S O F T H E J U R Y
Matjaž Drevenšek (SI)is a resident professor of saxophone and Vice Dean at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, a soloist, chamber performer, member of the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet, SOS Saxophone Orchestra and of other ensembles with which 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 (Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, SNG Maribor Symphony Orchestra, Slovenian Army Orchestra, and Police Orchestra) and abroad (Hong Kong Festival Wind Orchestra - China, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Croatian Radiotelevision Symphony Orchestra and Big band, Zagreb Solists, Croatian Chamber Orchestra, and Croatian Army Symphonic Wind Orchestra - Croatia, Orchestre de la Garde républicaine - France, Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra – GB, Emory Wind Ensemble and University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble - USA). He took part, as a jury member, in Slovenian and international competitions for young musicians (Austria, France, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Germany, Macedonia, Poland, and Serbia). He premiered over 50 pieces by domestic and foreign composers, and he has taken part in 20 discography projects. He was formally president of the Saksofonija Music Society, which during the summer of 2006 hosted the 14th World Saxophone Congress. He 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.
Betka Bizjak Kotnik (SI) is a professor of saxophone at the Conservatory of Music and Ballet Ljubljana. She has a graduate and postgraduate degree from the Ljubljana Academy of Music where she studied with Matjaž Drevenšek. She furthered her studies at the Lyon Conservatory of Music with Jean-Denis Michat. She has performed in a duo with pianist Milanka Črešnik in Slovenia and abroad. She has recorded for Radio Slovenia and in 2008 released a CD entitled Repliques. Since 2013 she has been a member of the LadieSaxophone Quartet, which has given, over a short span of time, recitals in Croatia, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia and at the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, France. The quartet recordings have completed the CDs of composers Nina Šenk, Ane-Marie Huszcza and singer-composer Zvezdana Novaković. As a member of the ensemble for contemporary music Neofonia she performed under the artistic direction of Steven Loy at the contemporary music series “Predihano,” organized by Cankarjev dom. She also teaches at summer schools and saxophone seminars. Over the past few years, she has participated in the production of the international festival EMONA, organized by the Conservatory of Music and Ballet Ljubljana.
Gerard McChrystal (IE) comes from Derry, N. Ireland. He studied at RNCM, Manchester, Guildhall School, London and Northwestern University. Gerard has performed in 35 countries. He has performed and recorded with Philip Glass, BBC NOW, Ulster Orchestra, London Musici, guitarist Craig Ogden, The Smith Quartet & Yan Pascal Tortelier. Orchestras Gerard has worked with include The Philharmonia, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, National Symphony of Ireland, Stuttgart Staatsorchester and the Orchestra of San Francisco Ballet. Venues include San Francisco Opera House, Baku Opera House & Royal Abert Hall. He served on the jury of the 6th Adolphe Sax International Competition Dinant, Belgium and was an ambassador for Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013. In 2015 he formed a new saxophone quartet called Bros. Quartet with Mario Marzi (Italy), Antonio Filipe Belijar (Spain) and Joao Pedro Silva (Portugal). Their CD Pagine featuring music by Salvatore Sciarrino was released by Stradivarius Records in 2016.
Debra Richtmeyer (USA), Professor of Saxophone at the University of Illinois since 1991, has performed and taught in North America, Europe, China and Thailand. She has commissioned numerous compositions and was the first woman to perform a featured concerto with orchestra and give a master class at a World Saxophone Congress. She has recorded multiple CDs and performed concertos with ensembles such as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Slovak Radio Orchestra, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the United States Navy Band. She has adjudicated prestigious competitions, including the Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition and her students have won national and international prizes. Her degrees are from Northwestern University where she studied with Dr. Frederick Hemke. She is a Past-President and Honorary Life Member of the North American Saxophone Alliance and a Selmer Artist.
C O N D U C T O R - finals
Miha Rogina (SI), described as ‘The best saxophonist of today’s younger generation’ by The Sax magazine, he is accredited for his innovative interpretations of musical works. He has won 1st prize at 10 international competitions. He has worked with today’s leading musicians including Pierre Boulez and Fabio Luisi and has appeared at international concert stages such as the Musikverein in Vienna, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Großes Festspielhaus in Salzburg or Izumi Hall in Japan. After studies with Matjaž Drevenšek, he graduated from the CNSM de Paris with Claude Delangle. He also studied at the Eastman School of Music in the USA. In 2015 he graduated orchestral conducting from the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna. As soloist he performed with a number of orchestras including the Vienna Symphony Orchestra as well as Hoffer, Slovenia, Thailand Philharmonic orchestra etc. An active chamber musician, he performs frequently with concert pianist Sae Lee. Miha Rogina is professor at Ljubljana University, faculty of music. He leads masterclasses at universities across Japan, UK, Latvia, Poland, Germany and Austria, and is a member of jury at national and international saxophone competitions. As a conductor he lead orchestras such as Slovenian philharmonic orchestra, Symphonic orchestra of slovene radio and television, Bratislava philharmonic orchestra etc. He is a member of Vienna based choir Wiener Singverein, with whom he collaborated under leadership of conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Mariss Jansons, Daniel Barenboim etc.
S E C R E T A R Y O F T H E C O M P E T I T I O N
Dejan Prešiček (SI) has completed his musical studies at the Academy of Music in Frankfurt. He honed his skills at J.M. Londeix's master class in Bordeaux, where he received the Gold Medal and the Honorary Award of the City of Bordeaux for saxophone and chamber music. He is member of the Ensemble 4Saxes and the Slavko Osterc Trio. He performed both as a soloist and a chamber musician in an array of festivals and venues around the globe. He played as a soloist with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphonic Orchestra of the Radio and Television of Slovenia, the Celje String Orchestra, the Slavko Osterc Ensemble and the Soloists of the Belgrade Philharmonic. In 2003, together with M. Drevenšek and M. Lazar he co-founded Saksofonija, a Slovenian saxophone players’ association, and has become its president in 2010. He teaches regularly and acts as a panel judge in Slovenian and international competitions. He has been one of the co-founders and president of the Slavko Osterc Ensemble since 2001. He is director and pedagogue at the Conservatory of Music and Balet of Ljubljana.