Hailed as a “pioneering instrumentalist and writer” and praised for his “surpassingly beautiful music” and “undoubtedly brilliant mind”, British saxophonist Alastair Penman is a dynamic and versatile performer and composer, presenting contemporary music in new and exciting ways. Having earned masters’ degrees in both Information and Computer Engineering (University of Cambridge) and Saxophone Performance (Royal Northern College of Music), Alastair has a strong interest in the fusion of live saxophone performance with electronic effects, backings, and enhancements to create often previously undiscovered sound-worlds.
Although classically trained, Alastair enjoys exploring many musical worlds; such influences can be heard in his compositions and performances, which often transcend genre definition.
As a soloist, Alastair has performed at venues including St Martin-in-the-Fields, St John’s Smith Square, Milton Court and Trinity College Chapel. He has been a guest recitalist at the RNCM and Canterbury Christ Church University Saxophone Days, and at the 2017 European Saxophone Congress, presenting material from his album, Electric Dawn (Sospiro Records), which has also received airplay on BBC Radio 3. Most recently Alastair was a guest at the 2018 World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, performing as a soloist, with the Kaleidoscope Saxophone Quartet, and with the Palm Duo. Alastair has made numerous concerto appearances, and recently acted as understudy to John Harle for performances of Harle’s newly choreographed soprano saxophone concerto Arcadiawith Birmingham Royal Ballet, on tour in the south of England as well as at Birmingham Hippodrome and Saddlers Wells.
In an ensemble setting, Alastair performs with the award-winning Borealis Saxophone Quartet (soprano saxophone) and Kaleidoscope Saxophone Quartet (baritone saxophone). Alastair has performed with the Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra, Royal Ballet Sinfonia and Orpheus Sinfonia and has also appeared with jazz groups at Montreux and London Jazz Festivals, and at jazz clubs across Europe.
As a composer, Alastair has been commissioned by organisations including Park Lane Group, RVW Trust and City Music Foundation, and his compositions can be heard on commercially available recordings. Alastair’s works have been performed extensively in the UK, and have also received performances in Europe, America, Africa and Australasia. Many of Alastair’scompositions are published by Saxtet Publications.
As an educator Alastair is a Visiting Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has been a guest tutor for the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain and Benslow Music. Alastair’s YouTube Channel, Saxophone Resources, has received over 1.4 million views.
Alastair is a City Music Foundation Artist, Park Lane Group Artist, BBC Introducing Artist, Live Music Now Artist, a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, and has won awards from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, RNCM (Fewkes and Harwood Scholarships) and St. Catharine’s College. Alastair has also been a finalist in the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe and RNCM Gold Medal Competitions.