Baltic Sea Saxophone Quartet

A unique ensemble consisting of four exceptional saxophonists from four neighbouring countries on the coast of the Baltic Sea. The musicians crossed paths while studying abroad, participating in competitions and masterclasses. Baltic Sea Saxophone Quartet presents varied and original programme to the audiences and include works of Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian and Finish composers to their performances.

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Nanna Ikonen, Finland

Finnish saxophonist, specialized in live electronics, currently based in Helsinki. Next to her work as classical saxophonist and educator Nanna’s present interests are in contemporary and new music, live electronics, music theatre, free improvisation, composition and complexed rhythm. Combining these skills Nanna’s electro-acoustic ensemble KOÄX premiered her composition Not I in the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2017 (NL).

Nanna is working both locally and internationally on various projects as performing musician and creative collaborator. Nanna plays a role as solo saxophonist in the theatre play Miss Julie at the TTT-Theatre in 2019. She is a collaborative artist in the Kunsthalle for Music (by Ari Benjamin Mayers) that has it’s next exhibition in the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin in 2020. Nanna is actively working with her ensembles: Saxtronauts (FI), Baltic Sea Saxophone Quartet (FI-EE-LV-LT) and Helsinki Saxophone Orchestra (FI). Her duo with soprano Elizabeth Hetherington (CA) is touring in the Netherlands in 2020.

Nanna got her Master of Music degree in Live Electronics at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in 2017 and her Bachelor degree in Classical Saxophone at the Utrechts Conservatorium in 2015. Before that she studied music at Helsinki Conservatory, Metropolia AMK and Sibelius Academy, in Finland.

Nanna’s work as international freelance musician has brought her to perform at many important venues like Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ and Paradiso in Amsterdam, and with many important ensembles like Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.

Finnish Cultural Foundation and MES foundation have supported Nanna.

Rene Laur, Estonia

Rene started studying music at age of 6 at Vastseliina’s Music school and continued in Heino Eller Music School of Tartu at age of 14 under the guidance of Ursula Chillaud. His bachelor studies took place in Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre which he graduated cum laude. After that he continued studying in Utrecht Conservatory under the guidance of Johan van der Linden and got his master’s degree in classical saxophone performance.

Rene has sucessfully participated in competitions and won prizes in Estonia and abroad: 1st prize in competition for woodwind players(2013, Tallinn); Special prize in the competition „The Voice of the Saxophone in the Modern World“(Moscow, Russia 2011); Grand Prix in competition “Renaissance”(Gyumri, Armenia 2016). He also participated in Estonian TV-competition for classical musicians „Klassikatähed 2014“(„Classical Stars 2014“)

Rene has participated in masterclasses with following professors/artists: Nobuya Sugawa, Sergey Kolesov, Margarita Shaposhnikova, Daniel Gauthier, Christian Wirth, Jean-Denis Michat, Masataka Hirano, Marie-Bernadette Charrier. He also participated in Habanera saxophone quartet summer academy in the year of 2012.

Rene is active solo and chamber musician in Estonia and abroad, cooperating with pianists, saxophone quartets and live-bands. He is a versatile player and his style varies from traditional and contemporary classical music to jazz, funk and tango music. He has performed as soloist with orchestras such as Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, XXI century symphony orchestra and Uue tänava symphony orchestra. He also plays in theatre orchestras such as Estonian National Opera orchestra and Vanemuine Theatre Symphony orchestra.

Aigars Raumanis, Latvia

Aigars Raumanis is a prize-winning young saxophonist from Latvia, he has premiered significant works of Latvian composers – Platons Buravickis, Andris Dzenītis, Pauls Dambis and others. Aigars has graduated Jazeps Medins Riga Music Secondary School (in class of Oskars Petrauskis) and now is studying at Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music with prof. Artis Sīmanis.

Aigars is a prize-winner of many competitions in Latvia and Europe – 1st place in Stockholm International Music Competition (Sweden, 2019), Grand Prix in European Saxophone Forum competition (Poland, 2018), 3 rd place in International Interpretation Contest for Saxophone (Romania, 2018), 1st place in eMuse International Online Music Competition (Greece, 2018), 1st place in “Inese Galante Competition” (Latvia, 2015), 1st place in competition “Saxophonia” (Latvia, 2017), 1st place in the competition for Concert Band Conductors (Latvia, 2016).

Aigars Raumanis as a soloist has performed with Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Riga, Latvian National Armed Forces Orchestra and Lithuanian Philharmony Chamber Orchestra, and as a member of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Latvian National Opera orchestra, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, Festival Orchestra of Baltic Musical Seasons and others. As soloist and member of ensembles and orchestras has performed in Lithuania , Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Greece, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland.

Rusne Mikiskaite, Lithuania

Rusne graduated from Royal College of Music in 2016 where she completed her postgraduate degree (Artist Diploma).

Rusne performed actively in London and the UK as a soloist as well as a member of award winning Laefer saxophone quartet. Rusne also toured Europe with Baltic Sea Saxophone Quartet and European Saxophone Ensemble.

Rusne is a winner of the III prize in the International Jurjans Andrejs Woodwind Instrument Competition in 2016, Concerto Competition at the Royal College of Music in 2016 as well as many other prizes in her native Lithuania.

Rusne performed in world-class London venues such as Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, South Bank Centre, Kings Place and others.

Rusne also spent time studying in Utrecht, the Netherlands with world famous saxophone professor Johan Van Der Linden. During this time Rusne toured the Netherlands with HKU/ARTez Saxophone Orchestra, HKU BigBand and performed as a soloist and a member of chamber ensembles and jazz groups.

Rusne also enjoys arranging and composing, as well as leading workshops, masterclasses and ensembles. The most joyful thing about making music for Rusne is the ability to play together and share musical experiences.

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