Alastair Penman - Soprano Saxophone
Gillian Blair - Alto Saxophone
Victoria Puttock - Tenor Saxophone
Meriel Price - Baritone Saxophone
“A cast-iron rule is to play every piece as if you really, really love it.
The Borealis Saxophone Quartet played ball impeccably.”
- The Times
The Borealis Saxophone Quartet is an award-winning chamber ensemble comprised of musicians who have studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal College of Music and the University of Cambridge. Praised for their “superb technique and style” (Planet Hugill) and “great skill” (Classical Source), the quartet has performed at venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Purcell Room, Kings Place, and St John’s Smith Square. The quartet has made numerous television and radio appearances, including a BBC Proms broadcast for Radio 3 and an appearance on ‘Good Morning Belgrade’ whilst on tour in Serbia. The quartet is a BBC Introducing Artist and has given numerous live performances on BBC Radio 3.
Individually the quartet members have performed with orchestras including Berlin Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, Halle, RLPO, London Contemporary Orchestra and have taught classes at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, RWCMD, RNCM Trinity Laban, and several conservatoires internationally.
As well as giving regular recitals the quartet has enjoyed much competition success, winning the Trevor Wye Memorial Prize, Apollo Saxophone Quartet/RNCM Saxophone Ensemble Prize and June Emerson Launchpad Prize. Whilst studying at RNCM the quartet was named the Christopher Rowland RNCM Chamber Ensemble of the Year and became a Park Lane Group Young Artist and Live Music Now Artist as well as reaching the final of the Royal Overseas League Chamber Music Competition and the RNCM Concerto Competition.
The Borealis Saxophone Quartet has a strong interest in contemporary music and enjoys building its own repertoire. The quartet has commissioned works from composers including Gary Carpenter, (“The North”, premiered at St John’s Smith Square), Tom Harrold (“Gentle Skies”, premiered at Kings Place Festival), Darren Bloom, (“Borexino-Borealis”, premiered at the Purcell Room), Lucy Pankhurst (“Borealis, Into Blue”, premiered at the RNCM), Lucy Armstrong (“Same Same But Different”, premiered at St Martin-in-the-Fields) and Zack Browning (“Howler Back”, premiered at St John’s, Smith Square).
The quartet’s debut album 'The North', comprises works commissioned and arranged by the ensemble and has been described as “wonderfully varied, fullblooded and often rather edgy” producing “high energy drama” (Planet Hugill).