FERIO SAXOPHONE QUARTET
SOPRANO Huw Wiggin
ALTO Ellie McMurray
TENOR Anthony Brown
BARITONE Katie Samways
As one of the leading British saxophone quartets among the new generation of artists, the Ferio Saxophone Quartet consistently receives a highly enthusiastic reception from audiences and critics alike.
In 2015 Ferio made their debut at the Purcell Room, as winners of The Philharmonia/Martin Musical Ensemble Award and during the same year were winners of the Royal Over-Seas League’s Ensemble Competition. They received the Tunnell Trust Award in 2014/15 and were Park Lane Group Artists for the 2016 season. The ensemble was a St. John’s Smith Square Young Artist 2016-2017; during the course of the year this scheme involved the quartet in a number of projects focusing on marketing, commissioning and outreach work in addition to a series of concerts.
The ensemble has performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Conway Hall, Cambridge Summer Festival and the Three Choirs Festival, and has given concert tours in Scotland and the Channel Islands. Recent engagements also include Bermuda, Edinburgh Fringe, Brighton, Newbury, Machynlleth, North Norfolk and Petworth Festivals. In November 2017 the quartet travelled to New Zealand giving concerts organised by the Royal Over-Seas League; they also joined the panel of adjudicators for the Pettman/ROSL Arts Scholarship auditions.
Commissioning new music is also an important strand of Ferio’s work. As Park Lane Group Artists, they gave the world premiere of the ‘Ludovico Technique’ by Laura Bowler which they subsequently performed at Wigmore Hall. They also work closely with composer Guillermo Lago and commissioned him to write a new work for the quartet. The resulting composition, inspired by three of William Wordsworth’s poems, received its premiere performance at St. John’s Smith Square, London, in April 2017. In May 2017 they gave the first performance of ‘Close Shave’ by Simon Rowland-Jones, which was commissioned by the St. John’s Smith Square Young Artists’ Scheme.
In 2017, Ferio signed with Chandos Records and released their debut commercial CD, ‘Flux’, a programme of original works for saxophone quartet which traces the saxophone’s history from the time of its invention to the present day. Their second album, ‘Revive’, is a set of Baroque transcriptions, including works by Bach, Handel, Purcell, Corelli and Byrd, and was launched in November 2018 at ‘Rhinegold Live’, hosted by Classical Music Magazine.
The quartet recently launched a collaboration with young vocal ensemble the Corvus Consort. Their first project together was a video recorded in isolation and produced during the coronavirus lockdown, which was premiered by The Sixteen as part of their Sounds Sublime Online Festival in July 2020.
Highlights of 2019 included performances at Beaminster and Ryedale festivals, a first visit to Festival Septembre Musical de l’Orne in Normandy, and further collaborations with pianist Timothy End at Church Stretton Festival and Absolute Classics in Dumfries and Galloway. The quartet also looks forward to recording the third album for Chandos in February 2021 with Timothy End, which will be themed around Stories and Fairy Tales.