"Francisco Sanchez Diaz’s soulful alto playing of Ravel’s Melodies hebraiques had a very special colour, sonority
and authentic accent"
- Michael Tumelty, Herald Scotland
Rusne-Monika Palsauskaite graduated with a Masters in Piano Performance in 2016 from the
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She was born in Vilnius,Lithuania and started playing the piano at the age of four. In 2010 she graduated from the National M. K. Ciurlionis Art School in the piano class of A. Siksniute. While still studying, she won various national and international piano competitions in Lithuania, France, Ukraine, Italy and Russia. At the RCS she won the 3rd prize in
the Bamber/Galloway Piano Competition in both 2014 and 2015, and in 2014 the 1st prize in
the Elgar/Spedding Memorial Prize for the best vocal and piano duet.
As a soloist she has played with Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, conductedby S. Sondeckis, L.
Lukocius and M. Pitrenas. Monika has also taken part in masterclasses lead by G. Szokolay, G.
Gruzman, N. Seriogina, L. SimonO. Mustonen, N. Ogawa, M. Ruzackybe, P. Reich, E. Leonskaja and others. Besides solo performance, Monika enjoys playing in various chamber music
ensembles. She has participated in many concert and festivals in Lithuania, Estonia and Scotland with many different ensembles, collaborating not only with musicians, but also modern ballet
dancers, performing Les Noces by I. Stravinsky, West Side Story by L. Bernstein, A Midsummer
Night’s Dream by F. Mendelssohn and other. Since 2016 she is a member of Gelos Duo,
alongside saxophonist Francisco Sanchez.
Monika’s most recent solo and duo performances were in The Brunton Theatre, as part of the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, The Spectrum Centre in Inverness, Muzikos Galerija in Vilnius and the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.
Additionally she earned a Diploma in Festival Management from the Fitzwilliam Institute in 2017.
Since 2016 Monika has worked as piano lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior
Department. She is currently pursuing her studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, on the
Doctor of Performing Arts course, researching the piano output by O. Messiaen. The first project of her Doctorate will take place at the RCS, performing the Quartet for the End of Time.
Spanish saxophonist Francisco Sánchez Díaz studied at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica in
Badajoz, Spain and he is recently graduated at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) with a Master in Music Performance and a Postgraduate Diploma in Chamber Music, specialised in
He is the winner of 1st prizes in the RCS Wind Orchestra Competition (2014), the Governors
Recital Prize for Woodwind (2015), Governors Recital Prize for Chamber Music (2016), the Mary D. Adams Prize for Chamber Music (2016).
Francisco has been a member of ensembles, such Lux Contemporanea, Iberian Big Band and
Makaris Quartet and has performed in festivals across United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal. He
has been active student in masterclasses with renowned saxophonist such as Jean-Marie Londeix,
Marie Bernadette Charrier, Mario Marzi, Arno Bornkamp, Andrés Gomis, Pedro Iturralde, David
Alonso, Jorge Rafael Gomez, Vicente Contador, Josef Pacewicz and Kyle Horch.
Francisco has performed with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony,
Southbank Sinfonia and Amadeus Orchestra, among others. As soloist, He has appeared several
times with the RCS Wind Orchestra playing "Ballade" for alto saxophone and orchestra by Henri
Tomasi, "Lokk frå den Grøne Øya" for tenor saxophone and wind orchestra by Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen and "Spotlights" for saxophone quartet and orchestra by Thomas Doss.
MONIKA PALSAUSKAITE - piano
FRANCISCO SÁNCHEZ - saxophone
Erwin Schulhoff | Hot Sonate. Mov I
Erwin Schulhoff | Hot Sonate. Mov II
fotografía Por: Yiftach Belsky
SAXOPHONE & PIANO
César Franck - Sonata in A Major for Piano and Violin
transcription for Alto Saxophone and Piano (30')
I. Allegretto ben moderato
IV. Allegretto poco mosso
Olivier Messiaen - Theme and Variations for Violin and Piano
transcription for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (10')
James MacMillan - "After the Tryst" for Soprano Saxophone and piano (4')
Erwin Schulhoff - Hot Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano (15')
Our current concert programme consists of works that represent four different versions of love.
In C. Franck's Sonata in A Major romantic love is the predominant idea. Composed in 1886 as a wedding present for the violinist Eugène Ysaÿe, the sonata represents through its four movements the sweetness, the passion, the drama and the expression of the most pure love.
After a short Interval, O. Messiaen's Theme and Variation reflects the trascendental love. The composer dedicated the work to his first wife, Claire Delbos, as a wedding present too. The piece celebrates the joy and sanctity of marriage, in the deepest religious concept of love.
From heavenly love we move to earthly love. J. MacMillan composed "After the Tryst" in 1988 based on William Soutar’s love poem "The Tryst". This scottish ballad is elongated and ornamented into a virtuosic and highly expressive miniature for soprano saxophone and piano.
The programme close with E. Schulhoff Hot Sonata which is one o the best examples of mixture of modern classical and 30`s jazz music. This sonata is thoroughly hot both in sense of jazz and in the expressive, here love leads to sensuality and even erotism.