Artist of the Month

Lars Mlekusch

We are delighted to present Sax Magazine's Artist of the Month for September: Lars Mlekusch.
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Lars Mlekusch’s Highlights

  • 1978: Born in Baden, Switzerland.
  • 1997: Enrolled in the class of Marcus Weiss at the University of Music Basel, Switzerland.
  • 2000: From this year until 2010, he was a guest saxophonist for the Austrian soloists’ ensemble Klangforum Wien.
  • 2001: Started master’s studies with Frederick L. Hemke at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, United States, obtaining his diploma in 2002.
  • 2004: Joined the University of Music Basel as Assistant Professor of Saxophone (until 2007).
  • 2005: Appointed Professor of Saxophone at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna (former Konservatorium Wien University), where he remained until 2017.
  • 2006: Was diagnosed with focal dystonia of the right hand. Participated in the album David Philip Hefti — Tenet (Telos Music Records), in O, Star! II — Mosaic for Solo Saxophone, a piece he premiered two years earlier.
  • 2007: First edition of the Arosa Music Academy in Switzerland, held every summer since then.
  • 2008: Released his debut solo album, Saxophone Spaces (Edition Zeitklang), including works by Berio, Lee, Kyburz, Heiniger and Netti. From this year until 2016, he was a saxophone soloist for the contemporary music Ensemble PHACE.
  • 2009: Began to focus his musical career on conducting, founding the Vienna Saxophonic Orchestra, a project of which he was artistic director until 2015, working with current composers to create original repertoire for saxophone orchestra and transcribing classical works.
  • 2010: In addition to the right hand, he was also diagnosed with focal dystonia in the insertion muscles.
  • 2012: Released his debut album as a conductor, Frameless Pictures (Gramola), with the Vienna Saxophonic Orchestra.
  • 2014: Founded the Vienna International Saxfest.
  • 2015: Appointed Professor of Saxophone, Chamber Music and Contemporary Music at the Zurich University of the Arts in Switzerland, where he remains today. Participated in two new albums: Wrestling Samoa (Phace) as a soloist with the Ensemble PHACE, and Stockhausen Edition No. 105 (Stockhausen Verlag), as the conductor in Linker Augentanz (Left-Eye-Dance).
  • 2016: Due to the development of dystonia, from this year onwards, he had to limit his performances as a saxophonist, concentrating on teaching, conducting and organising festivals. He was named artistic director and conductor of the MIT Saxophone Ensemble in Taiwan. Conducting debut at the Vienna Musikverein.
  • 2017: Guest conductor of the Ensemble PHACE (until today). First edition of the Zurich International Saxfest. Appearances as guest conductor with the Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt.
  • 2018: Collaborated as guest conductor with the Croatian Cantus Ansambl and the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.
  • 2019: Conducted the opening and closing concerts of the impuls Academy in Graz, Austria.
  • 2020: Debut as conductor of the Klangforum Wien at the Wiener Konzerthaus, premiering works by Sarah Nemtsov. Debuts at the Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • 2021: Debut as conductor of the Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik (Austrian Ensemble for New Music) in Salzburg, Austria.
  • 2022 (scheduled): Debut as conductor at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Germany.

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