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Belgium celebrates 200th anniversary of Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone

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If you love saxophone music, you'll want to visit Belgium in 2014 as the country celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Adolphe Sax. Born in Dinant in 1814, Adolphe Sax was a Belgian musician and musical instrument designer best known for inventing the saxophone.

Sax wanted to create an instrument that would fill the gap between the two orchestra sections of brass and woodwinds. He patented the saxophone in 1846. Saxophones are considered woodwind instruments because players blow into a reed mouthpiece, not directly into the brass.

Adolphe Sax 200th birthday celebrations in Belgium include:

• In Brussels, the special exhibition SAX200 at the Musical Instruments Museum covers everything you wanted to know about Sax and his inventions, including original Sax saxophones. SAX200 runs from February 8, 2014, to January 11, 2015.

Dinant celebrates its most famous son with the special itinerary Sax and the City. A free map guides visitors to the location of Adolphe Sax sites and tributes including the Art on Sax urban exhibition, La Maison de Monsieur Sax (on Rue Adolphe Sax), the famous Adolphe Sax bench sculpture, La Maison de la Pataphonie, the Espace Sax, the Giant Saxophone and more.

• Also in Dinant, the Leffe Jazz Nights Festival from July 18 to 20, 2014.

• The Adolphe Sax International Competition is open to international saxophone musicians aged 30 and under. The competition is held every four years. The 6th Adolphe Sax International Competition is scheduled in Dinant from October 25 to November 8, 2014.

For more on cultural events and festivals in Belgium, see Visit Belgium.

To hear an original Adolphe Sax saxophone (1861) played, click here.