The groundbreaking Apollo Saxophone Quartet has been at the forefront of the British contemporary music scene for over 30 years. The ensemble has made the largest single contribution to the saxophone quartet repertoire in the UK, commissioning and premiering over 100 works, ranging from quartets to concerti and film scores, as well as numerous creative collaborations with poet, dancers, multimedia and strings.
Established in 1985 at the Royal Northern College of Music, the multi-prizewinning ensemble (Royal OverSeas League, Tunnell Trust, Erasmus Concours Netherlands, Tokyo International Chamber Music Competition winners) quickly established a reputation for excellence and versatility, working across contemporary classical and jazz genres, regularly touring internationally and featuring in live broadcasts on Classic FM, BBC Radio and TV. The group has released eight CDs to date (Decca/Argo, Black Box, Quartz), as well as being featured on many other recordings showcasing the work of individual composers (Michael Nyman, Michael Torke, Django Bates, John Casken, Joby Talbot etc.)
In 2022 the group commissioned new works by Dani Howard, Grace Evangeline Mason, Bill Connor, Claire Cope and Jenni Watson. The works were premiered in November and have been recorded for a new CD for release in 2023.
Collaboration with Aartvark Saxophone Quartet (NL)
A set of 8 original compositions, one from each member of the quartets.
After the recording of our CD in 2018 we have toured extensively in UK and NL till our final concerts in Amsterdam were cancelled due to COVID-19
A set of commissions from jazz composers with funding from the Arts Council in 1990's. This piece is the 2nd movement from a suite commissioned by Apollo by Barbara Thompson. For this project the group also commissioned Kenny Wheeler, Julian Arguelles, Stan Sultzmann, Django Bates, Keith Tippett, Bob Mintzer, Mike Gibbs, Iain Ballamy and Eddie Parker.
Journey Across the Impossible, written by members of the group. The 1 hour set of films programmed here offers a captivating and thought-provoking insight into how the film world has changed since its humble beginnings over a century ago, but curiously, juxtaposed with modern soundtracks, the themes of these wonderful films are just as relevant today as when they were first conceived, and the messages contained within still resonate with a modern audience. This film, the Man with the Rubber Head is by Georges Melies, music by Carl Raven.
Video 4, 5 and 6
A recent live streamed event showing new material by the quartet, played live with film. Audio was recorded and mixed by Rob Buckland, video editing was by Jim Fieldhouse.