In the airplane now, comng back from teaching a masterclass in Oporto, Portugal. I had a great time. I took my family with me and after the masterclass was finished we went on holiday in Oporto. Unfortunately, we had to stay a week extra in Portugal, beause my son got the chicken pocks, which is not dangerous, but still contagious. So we couldn't fly out.
The saxophone class in Portugal is like a family. The class is run by Henk van Twillert together with Fenando Ramos and Gilberto Bernardes. This masterclass was part of the International Saxophone Week 2011 at the Conservatory in Oporto. There were several concerts, one with works by Bruce Pennycook, a final concert (in which Henk van Twillert played his version of the Sarabande from the 6th Cello Suite), Spanish saxophonist Pablo Coello who presented music for saxophone, percussion and electronics. And of course I played a concert, my 'Shadows' concept. A concert in which I explore works that use musical shadows. It was very exciting to play this concert for mostly colleagues. But it went well in the end. I used a lot of electronics, mainly guitar effects and live recording and play-back with a .wav recorder. The concert seemed to be well received, especially the Bach Flute Partita. A piece I have struggled with for some years. This year I finally seem to have some ease with it. Tjako van Schie, Henk van Twillert's pianist and accompanist of the Oporto saxophone class, gave me the biggest compliment. He said I was speaking with my instrument. A great compliment from someone wo is about to record his second Goldberg Variations.
The masterclass also was exciting. The mediterranean way of saxophone methodic is very different from more Northern countries. They study only three years in their bachelor and amongst others, therefore start very early with the most difficult pieces in the repertoire. For some, this seemed to work, but for others I had a hard time connecting to them, because I felt it was necessary to work on more basic things.
All in all, the class was great, very enthusiastic, musical and hard working.
I hope to return very soon!