Mr. Ashu, you will perform on July 19th at Marienroder Klosterkonzert in
I have always had a deep and sincere love for the music of
As a child: why did you choose the saxophone? Do/did you play any other instruments? Why and when did you start to play the saxophone in a classical way?
It all started one day when I was walking around
While growing up, we didn't have a music player or any recordings at home, and I never had the opportunity to ever attend a concert. However, at age 13 I came across my first recording: a CD of Luciano Pavarotti. That single moment changed everything and I suddenly knew that I wanted to become a classical soloist.
I began listening to all the great soloists, from Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau to Jascha Heifetz. I was repeatedly told that a classical solo career wasn't possible on the saxophone and that I would need to either change styles or give it up. However, to me the beauty of the saxophone was a perfect match for classical music. I think sometimes you just have to follow your heart and ignore what people say. I started practicing more and two years later, having still never performed in public, I won a competition where the prize was a recital at Carnegie Hall. I gave my first public performance of any kind at Carnegie Hall. Since then I have been fortunate to maintain a unique full-time career touring classical concerts throughout the world. For me there’s no feeling like walking on stage and getting to share myself with an audience, it’s a thrill and a high unlike anything else. I realize how lucky I am to get to do what I love and I try to never take it for granted.
You play concerts all over the world, in the
I think every audience is very different, as is every hall and every concert. For me that is the beauty of a live performance. All of these elements make each and every concert a completely unique and special experience.
When I perform I try to not think about anything in particular, but rather to just be completely in the moment so I am free to respond and react to the moment. For me, it's in that moment where the true emotional and communicative power of a live performance lies, and what can make a live performance such a magical experience. It's what I love most about performing.
My concert in