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Valentine Michaud: “Classical Saxophone Is a Very Special Entity. You Have to Make It Interesting for Your Audience in Order to Be Successful”


This interview with saxophonist Valentine Michaud provides a comprehensive exploration of her musical journey, from the initial attraction to the saxophone as a child in a small French village to her diverse and innovative projects as an independent musician. The narrative unfolds through Michaud’s formative years, tracing the impact of her early teachers, notably Slava Kazykin and Joel Hérissé, who instilled in her a profound joy for playing. The interview delves into her progression through different educational institutions, including her experiences in Nantes, Lausanne, and Zurich, shedding light on the influences that shaped her unique approach to music and teaching.

Michaud shares insights into her forays into interdisciplinary collaborations, expressing a passion for working with other artists, and details her involvement in the creation of SIBJA, a collective that explores the intersection of music, visual arts, and performance. The interview reveals the challenges and rewards of organizing ambitious projects, providing a glimpse into Michaud’s artistic philosophy and commitment to artistic satisfaction over financial gain. Furthermore, she discusses her ventures into clothing design, highlighting the symbiotic relationship between her creative outlets.

A focal point of the interview is Michaud’s recent collaboration with the City Light Symphony Orchestra, featuring on a double CD set of John Williams’ lesser-known compositions. She reflects on the recording process and her approach to interpreting film music on the saxophone. Looking towards the future, Michaud outlines her upcoming projects, including a large-scale collaboration with her brother Emmanuel, integrating augmented reality and video game design into a performance.

As the conversation turns to Michaud’s experiences during the pandemic, she shares her gratitude for continued opportunities amid cancellations and setbacks. The interview concludes with Michaud offering valuable advice to aspiring musicians, emphasizing adaptability, openness to diverse opportunities, and the importance of building lasting connections within the music community. Her insights serve as a guiding narrative for emerging musicians navigating a dynamic and evolving musical landscape.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music