World premiere of new saxophone concerto


Edward Gregson, Principal of the RNCM, has written a new saxophone concerto which will receive its world premiere at the final concert of Sonic Skylines, a festival of contemporary music by composers living and working in Manchester.

The saxophone concerto is the latest in a series of concertos Gregson has composed since the beginning of his career, all of which have been written for distinguished soloists commencing with the Horn Concerto (written for Ifor James in 1971), and more recently the highly acclaimed Clarinet Concerto (for Michael Collins in 1994), Concerto for Piano and Winds (for John McCabe in 1997), and the Violin Concerto (for Lyn Fletcher and the Halle in 2000).

Gregson’s Saxophone Concerto is in three linked movements and lasts some 24 minutes. It explores the full expressive and virtuosic range of the alto saxophone and uses the soprano saxophone in the more lyrical slow movement. It also includes an important role for piano and kit drummer.

The soloist in the saxophone concerto will be the Tokyo-based Nobuya Sugawa, who commissioned the work personally from Edward Gregson and is one of the leading saxophonists in the Far East. He will be joined by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Clark Rundell, Head of Contemporary Music at the RNCM.

The concert will take place at Studio 7, Broadcasting House, Manchester, on Wednesday 10 May at 7.30pm.