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600th anniversary has sax appeal

World Saxophone Congress XVI - St Andrews - 10-15 July 2012

The University of St Andrews will host almost 200 world premieres this week, as part of its 600th anniversary celebrations, when the World Saxophone Congress comes to town from 10 – 15 July, 2012.

The six-day congress brings over 800 musicians from around the globe together to give classical, jazz, folk and contemporary performances at venues ranging from the Church Square to the 1,000-seat Younger Hall.

Highlights include American Branford Marsalis, who will premiere a new concerto for saxophone by Andy Scott with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the opening gala concert on 10 July, classical saxophonist Eugene Rousseau, and French saxophonist Jean-Marie Londiex.

Richard Ingham, event organiser and musician-in-residence, said:

“We are very proud to be hosting the XVI World Saxophone Congress in St Andrews during the 600th anniversary celebrations of the university. This will be the largest gathering of professional musicians ever to gather in St Andrews. There will be 800 international performers and over 200 world premiere performances, over six days, in venues throughout the town.”

“I want to show saxophonists from across the world what Scotland and the UK has to offer, and I also want people from the UK to see and hear what other players from all over the world are doing. There’s some amazing stuff going on out there.”

The congress represents an opportunity to enjoy concerts and performances of saxophone soloists, quartets, chamber ensembles, and orchestras: to attend recitals, lectures, special events, and master-classes.

A centre-piece event will be a celebration of John Cage’s centenary which will see performance of his compositions and give a historical overview of his life and work.

More unusual events include performances by Raum-Music fur Saxophone, a Dutch-German ensemble who specialise in free improvisation informed by the acoustics of whatever space they are performing in, who will deliver a unique piece of music in the University’s medieval undercroft. There will also be a performance of Rachel Stott’s Several World played by around 100 saxophones.

Day tickets are still available from the World Saxophone Congress website or registration desk at Byre Theatre.

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