September 13, 2010
Brookes Chapel @ 7:30 p.m
At age 26, Ashu has established an extraordinary ability to communicate with audiences through his charismatic and moving performance style. While his virtuosity continues to thrill listeners, his artistry reaches far beyond this demonstrating a unique personality and musical voice. He has repeatedly defied conventions by winning major competitions traditionally won by pianists and violinists.
Ashu was born and raised in California and began playing the saxophone at age 10. He soon began entering competitions and found himself receiving a wide range of opportunities, including his recital debut, which took place at Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall, and his concerto debut, which took place at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Since then, solo performances have taken him throughout Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, Portugal, West Indies, and the USA; with upcoming concerts in Australia, New Zealand, and the Baltic.
Regularly touring as soloist with renowned orchestras throughout the USA and Europe, recent invitations include the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and Metropolitan Orchestra of Lisbon, with such venues as Carnegie Hall and the Vienna Konzerthaus. Earning a reputation for his engaging stage presence, critics have raved that he's "just as much fun to watch as he is to listen to" (Dallas Morning News) and "Riveting, Brilliant, Pizzazz to Burn!" (NPR).
While most people have never heard the saxophone in concert music, Ashu has begun to change this. He says, "It's really an incredible instrument. It can play with such emotional intensity, sing like a voice, and effortlessly project in the largest of halls. It's capable of a lot of really beautiful things."
With the unique ability to captivate general as well as classical audiences, Ashu has shown that the concert saxophone can reach beyond stylistic categorization and to a large diversity of people. He has also shown it can attract younger and new listeners into the concert hall being a relatively fresh instrument to classical udiences.
Ashu has a wide variety of musical interests. His concert repertoire ranges from original soprano and alto saxophone works by Ibert, Glazunov, and Debussy to his own arrangements of Piazzolla, Rachmaninoff, and Morricone.
Ultimately, it's his love for performing and reaching people that drives him. "For me, there's just no feeling like walking up on stage and getting to share myself with an audience. It's an absolutely incredible feeling that is so humbling and thrilling at the same time," he says.
With a warm and engaging personality, Ashu has been featured on NBC, CBS, and NPR. He also arranges works for saxophone which he regularly performs in his concerts.
Ashu grew up in Walnut Creek, California and moved to The Woodlands, Texas with his family at age 12. He attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and currently resides in Chicago.