Saxophone music will contribute to the development of new musical styles, says saxophonist Asya Fateyeva

Asya Fateyeva was born in the Crimea. She studied piano from the age of six, and then chose saxophone. She studied at the Gnesin Russian Academy of Music, then at the The Cologne University of Music (Germany) and as part of a student exchange program at the Paris Conservatory.

She has performed with the The Vienna Symphony (Austria), the Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra, The Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, The Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, The Presidential Symphony Orchestra (Ankara), the Milan Symphony Orchestra, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra (Germany), the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, the Symphony Orchestra of the Crimean Philharmonic, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. She is a scholarship holder of the The Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation, a laureate of the Triumph Youth Prize (2004) and a laureate of the Zonta International Foundation Prize (2012).

This year Asya takes part in the Andorra Sax Fest international festival. We took this opportunity to ask this young and talented saxophonist about the prospects for the development of saxophone music:

“This is my first time in Andorra. The nature here is so beautiful! I live in Hamburg, where there are no mountains, so I enjoy it. Andorra is like a small nest, where the best saxophonists, professors and students from all over the world come once a year. Andorra Sax Fest is a brand that the country can be proud of. And I am very glad to see a Russian musician among the participants of the competition, this is an amazing young saxophonist (Dmitry Pinchuk, 16 years old).

The saxophone is a rather young instrument, less than two hundred years have passed since its appearance. And now we are witnessing the active disclosure of its capabilities. I’m not talking about the technique of performance, but about the specifics of the saxophone as a musical instrument. The saxophone has changed a lot even in the last 10 years. Now the instrument is experiencing the same thing that the violin experienced during the time of Paganini and Liszt. The instrument is still being developed. We, saxophonists, seem to be climbing a mountain, and the peak is not visible yet. Over time, I think saxophone music will contribute to the development of new musical styles. At the same time, the saxophone world has always had an avant-garde style.

I live in Germany now. This country is quite conservative in terms of musical tastes. The Germans love native composers – that’s how they call them “three B”: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, for example. I play baroque and renaissance music. Classical music interests me. But every time I have to prove that the saxophone is not only about classical or jazz. It can also be completely new kind of music.

I studied in France. If we compare France with Germany, in France there are less traditions, the music seems more modern, there are more improvisations and visual effects. Although similar trends are gradually emerging in Germany.

As for Russia, this is perhaps the only country where there are still “conférenciers” announcing the appearance of musicians on stage. You won’t find them anywhere else in Europe.

According to my feelings, any public is open, ready for perception. We, musicians, instead of imposing traditions, should constantly offer something new.

I teach music and I can say that saxophone is a very popular instrument today. It is often falls into the hands of adults who are already over 40 years old. Actually, it’s an instrument for all ages because it is always able to surprise.

I can’t wait until in Germany it will be possible to go to concerts and listen to music without masks (they are still needed there). People need music. And this is very important for musicians. It’s a very strange feeling when you don’t see people’s faces, you don’t see their emotions. It’s something you can’t get used to.”.

Irina Rybalchenko

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