21 January 2015
Cultural stories: Concert by the Riga Saxophone Quartet
On Tuesday, 20 January 2015, the concert by the Riga Saxophone Quartet took place at the cinema Frosina, Youth Cultural Centre in Skopje. The concert, part of the EU InfoCentre’s programme of events “Cultural stories”, was organised by the Delegation of the European Union and the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in Prague, on the occasion of the Latvian presidency with the Council of the European Union.
The Riga Saxophone Quartet made its debut in 1992, marking the beginning of a new era for academic saxophone music in Latvia. Their performances with firm artistic aspirations and refined timbre quality and professional skills have been recognized by audiences, critics and music specialists alike. By selecting a wide-ranging repertoire the Quartet has also made an effort in breaking the stereotype of the saxophone as a purely jazz instrument; the ensemble performs transcriptions of classical works (J.S. Bach, G.F. Handel), 20th and 21st century works (Andrew Poppy, Joe Cutler, Perry Goldstein), lyrical melodies and engaging rhythms of Latin American music as well as original compositions of jazz composers (G. Gershwin, D. Gillespie, D. Ellington).
At the concert in Skopje, which was open to the public free of charge, the Quartet was accompanied by the sopranos Biljana Staffansson and Ljiljana Jovanovic - twin sisters, something highly unique in the world of opera. The sisters graduated from the Musical Academy in Belgrade and continued their specialization in opera singing at the Conservatorio di Musica in Florence. Their performances are unique for their exceptional interpretations, brilliant musicality and a superb upper register.
The Riga Saxophone Quartet will also be performing in Prishtina, Kosovo and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in January.
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