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Yugen Saxophone Quartet

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Sunday 7th July 2024

5:30pm: St Michael and All Angels Church, Adbaston, ST20 0QE

         Programme

 

Andrew Downes - Earth Dances 

Jenni Watson - Tinged 

Daniele Di Virgilio- Yugen Vibes 

Traditional - Sosban Fach 

Interval

 

Caryl Florio - Quartette 

Guillermo Lago - Sarajevo 

Philip Glass - Saxophone Quartet mvt. IV 

Traditional - Danny Boy 

Philippe Geiss - Sir Patrick 

       Encore

 

Postmodern Jukebox - Careless Whisper 

 

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About the Quartet...

With innovation at the core of their music making, award-winning Yugen Saxophone Quartet push creative boundaries, with their captivating performances. Yugen quartet are an upcoming British saxophone quartet, exploring diverse repertoire, based in the heart of Birmingham. Since forming, Yugen have performed at a wide variety of events, including Leicester International Music Festival (2023), Jennifer Blackwell space at Symphony Hall (2023), Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain Day (2023) and Music in the Castle at Powderham Castle (2023). Yugen Saxophone Quartet formed in November 2020 and are alumni from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Current members are Ewan Wright, Nicole Micheli, Emily Plumb and Alicia Hillman. Recently Yugen Quartet has received masterclasses from renowned groups including the Rascher Quartet and Laefer Quartet. Yugen Saxophone Quartet have also won competitions including the Sylvia Cleaver Prize 2021 and the Andrew Downes prize 2022. Yugen released their debut studio album Origins in January 2022 which received high acclaim. They are four unique Saxophonists using their shared passion for chamber music to form an exciting and vibrant ensemble. 

The Players

Alicia Hillman:

Over the past decade, Alicia has established herself as a prominent saxophonist in the Birmingham music scene. She graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with a Master of Instrumental Performance with Distinction in 2022, following a first-class bachelor's degree in 2020.

During her studies, Alicia was mentored by renowned instructors Naomi Sullivan and Kyle Horch, and received guidance from international performers such as Arno Bornkamp, Mariano Garcia, Jonathan Radford, and Masahito Sugihara. She also studied in the Netherlands with Johan van der Linden.

During her studies, Alicia frequently competed in competitions, including winning the 2021 Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Saxophone Prize. She has also been supported by several awards, such as the John Clemmence Trust, the UK Universal Music Sound Foundation Bursary, and the Help Musicians Postgraduate Award (2020-2022).

Alicia is passionate about chamber music, collaborating with saxophonists of all ages. She led the 2020 Saxology project, a community-driven initiative organizing workshops and ensembles. She premiered works with the RBC Saxophone Octet at the World Saxophone Congress in 2018 and commissioned new repertoire for the innovative Couple of Saxes Duo with Yugen colleague Ewan Wright. Alicia is excited to perform with Yugen and the Couple of Saxes Duo at the European Saxophone Congress in 2024.

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Evan Wright:

Originally from Carmarthen in West Wales, Ewan began playing the clarinet at age eight, before taking up the saxophone at fourteen. In 2013, Ewan moved to London and spent a year studying with Nathan Hassall, before beginning his undergraduate studies at Trinity Laban in 2014, studying with Melanie Henry and Gerard McChrystal. Ewan graduated in 2018, and became the first ever classical saxophone player to be nominated for Trinity Laban's prestigious Gold Medal award.

In 2019, Ewan began his postgraduate studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, studying with Naomi Sullivan, and graduated with distinction in 2021. During his studies, Ewan has been a regular participant in competitions, winning first prize in the Harold Clarke woodwind competition in 2017, and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire saxophone prize in 2020.

In his work as both a soloist and a researcher, Ewan is particularly keen on studying and working with extended techniques, and regularly performs music by composers such as Christian Lauba, Colin Stetson, and Derek Brown.

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Emily Plumb:

Emily Plumb is a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist from Manchester and recently graduated from her undergraduate studies at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire under Naomi Sullivan.

With a particular passion for chamber music, Emily has been part of a number of ensembles including jazz bands, concert bands, alongside theatre productions and in various quartets both prior to and during her studies at RBC.

She has also been involved in a number of orchestral projects, most recently with the Symphony Orchestra at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm where she studied for a term with saxophonist Christer Johnsson through the Erasmus scheme. During her studies, Emily has followed and participated in masterclasses with renowned saxophonists such as Kyle Horch and Jonathan Radford.

Following her undergraduate degree in 2023, Emily is hoping to study for a postgraduate at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, as well as gaining more experience with performing and teaching, both as a chamber musician and soloist.

Nicole Micheli:

Nicole has studied saxophone at the Royal College of Music and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire under tutors Kyle Horch and Naomi Sullivan. She holds the Leverhulme Arts Scholarship, the Help Musicians Postgraduate Award, the Peter Beaumont Saxophone Prize, and the Birmingham Chamber Music Society Sylvia Cleaver Award. In 2022, she made her concerto debut with Michael Nyman's Double Concerto for Saxophone and Cello.  As a busy chamber musician, Nicole’s career highlights include a performance on BBC Radio 3, release of the album 'Origins' with the Yugen Saxophone Quartet, and founding of the award-winning Lucerna Saxophone Quartet. She often premieres new works, having collaborated with composers from the United States, Italy, and the UK. Nicole is a dedicated educator, often teaching and performing in schools. She regularly provides music workshops in care homes and community centres as a facilitator for Intergenerational Music-Making and Find Your Voice.

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