Luciano Pavarotti, Jascha Heifetz, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Walking on stage and getting to share myself with an audience. It’s a thrill and a high unlike anything in the world.
What have you been listening to lately:
Maria Callas, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Gould, Vladimir Horowitz, Astor Piazzolla…
Anything is possible.
Three words that best describe you:
Passionate, Optimistic, Curious
Greatest perk of your profession:
Getting to travel.
Cinema Paradiso, Spirited Away
If you weren’t a musician:
Acting has always fascinated me and the similarities to making music are very interesting.
Favorite types of books:
What do you love about the saxophone:
It can be played with such emotional intensity yet subtletly, sing like a voice, and effortlessly project in the largest of halls. It’s capable of an incredible beauty. It also has a mainstream appeal that makes it perfect for reaching new and broader audiences.
9 Things You Didn’t Know About Ashu
- The first recital he ever performed took place at Carnegie Hall.
- Inspired to start playing the saxophone after hearing a busker on a dark street corner while growing up in San Francisco.
- Growing up without a music player or any albums at home, his first CD was of Luciano Pavarotti, which made him want to become a concert soloist.
- While growing up, was constantly told that a solo classical career on the saxophone wasn’t possible and was repeatedly urged to give it up.
- Has won the top prize in every competition he has entered (over 20 total).
- Won First Place at a swimming championships in the butterfly stroke.
- Has gotten to travel around the world: Japan, South Africa, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, India, Venezuela, Canada, England, Portugal, Switzerland, Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, Finland, Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Poland, Austria…
- Receives fan mail daily from around the world.
- Has arranged over 60 works for saxophone and piano in the past few years, from Rachmaninoff and Korngold to Morricone and Piazzolla.