Rob Buckland is internationally acclaimed as one of the most distinctive and versatile Saxophonists of his generation, regularly appearing as concerto and recital soloist, with his Equivox Trio, and with the Apollo Saxophone Quartet. He has commissioned and recorded music from many of today’s leading composers, featuring on his own solo CD (Towards the Light 1998), with the Equivox Trio (The Time is Now 2006), eight CDs with the Apollo Saxophone Quartet (of which he is a founder member), and 2 new CDs planned for 2012, including a new disc of saxophone concertos that he has commissioned over the last 20 years. He regularly performs and records with such diverse ensembles such as the Michael Nyman Band, Halle Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra, Opera North and Northern Sinfonia. Uniquely in demand as both classical soloist and jazz artist, Rob also regularly works with Sax Assault, the John Wilson Orchestra, BBC Big Band, Royal Variety Performance Orchestra, Keith Nichol’s various early jazz projects, and can regularly be heard performing on many Film and TV soundtracks, including recently the BBC’s remake of “Upstairs Downstairs”, and ITV’s highly acclaimed “The Forsyth Saga”. In recent years, Rob has been heard performing as concerto soloist with the RLPO, CBSO and the Orchestra of Opera North performing John Williams’ “Escapades” Concerto - taken from the soundtrack to the Dreamworks Film “Catch Me if You Can”, leading the saxophone section of the RLPO’s landmark performance with the Wayne Shorter Quartet in 2008 and recently featuring as the saxophone soloist with Elvis Costello’s new orchestral project.
Rob has spent a significant proportion of his time over the last 25 years performing with the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, a world class ensemble that is widely acknowledged as one of the UK's finest contemporary chamber ensembles, performing, recording and commissioning over 100 new works for the medium. As a composer, Rob writes and arranges for both concert performance and film, tv and media, and has written a highly successful and popular ongoing series of original compositions for young players, many of which are now part of the Associated Board, Trinity and Guildhall syllabuses (published by astute-music.com). He will also release a new comprehensive saxophone tutor book, based on his 15 years teaching at the RNCM, in spring 2012. Alongside his busy performing schedule, Rob is Professor of Saxophone at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he was recently awarded a Fellowship (2008). He is Saxophone Consultant at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, runs his own International Saxophone Summer School, the Manchester and Harrogate Saxophone Summer Courses, and is frequently asked to present saxophone weekends and days throughout the UK. Rob is a Henri Selmer Paris artist, and endorsee for Vandoren Reeds.
Carl Raven is a freelance saxophonist and educator in Manchester, U.K. He has performed with BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Halle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic,Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble 10:10, Manchester Camerata, Opera North, Northern Sinfonia, the Michael Nyman band and is a member of the acclaimed Apollo Saxophone Quartet. He is also a member of ‘House of Bedlam’.
Carl currently is a saxophone and improvisation tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and at Leeds University and Manchester University. Carl is a Vandoren performing artist.
is the Principal Keyboard Player of the London Symphony Orchestra. Born in London, he began his musical training as a chorister of Westminster Abbey, thereafter studying piano at the Guildhall School of Music with James Gibb. Starting out as an accompanist and chamber musician, some time passed before he found himself working as an orchestral pianist. In this role he has played with most of the British orchestras along with many of the top chamber ensembles; notably The London Sinfonietta and The Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
John Alley has taken part in over one hundred Proms over the last quarter century, playing Stravinsky's Petroushka four times, Bartok Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste three times, Les Noces on the night of the Royal wedding in 1981 and just about every other piece with an orchestral piano part, at least once! During this time he has been privileged to work with many of the 20th century's major composer/conductors, including Boulez, Berio, Benjamin, Henze, Karl Jenkins, Kurtag, Lutoswaski and Oliver Knussen.
There has been also an occasional 'solo' contribution and a minor sensation occurred in the performance of 'Suite for the Hypothetically Murdered' in 1992 when he drank a pint of beer in the middle of a cadenza!
He has recorded extensively for television, radio and disc. The association with Nigel Gomm has been very fruitful and has produced upwards of forty CDs with John Alley as accompanist.