NIGEL WOOD (b. 1960)
Nigel Wood had a prize-winning undergraduate career at Birmingham Conservatoire where he was one of the founding members of the saxophone ensemble Saxtet. He started composing to meet the group’s need for new material and his works were performed on the streets, in concerts and at festivals, and recorded on Saxtet’s ‘Montage’ and ‘Safer Sax’ CDs. At the same time he became one of the first specialist professors of saxophone at the Conservatoire, combining this with a busy freelance career performing with groups as diverse as the CBSO, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Moscow State Circus.
The material he produced for Saxtet eventually became the foundation of his specialist music publishing company Saxtet Publications (www.saxtetpublictions.com), which he has now owned and managed for more than two decades. The works written during this period have now been performed in the UK and abroad by such notable saxophonists as Gerard McChrystal and John Harle and have been broadcast on both radio and television; many of his titles appear on exam syllabuses and are widely used by school music services and music students.
His compositions include Under the Veil which has been performed and broadcast by the BBC Concert Orchestra and by the Azerbaijan Symphony Orchestra as part of the Visions of Britain Festival promoted by The British Council. Cries of the Stentor for soprano and piano was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 from the Wigmore Hall. The National Youth Wind Orchestra commissioned Where Spirits and Demons Dance for its saxophone ensemble Saxophonia, who premiered it at the Purcell Room. Nigel’s music is published through Saxtet Publications, Boosey & Hawkes and Stainer & Bell.
More recently Nigel has concentrated on writing for larger saxophone ensembles, and particularly the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain, through which he also promotes and mentors young composers. His music features in all the Choir’s programmes across the UK and Europe, and appears on its ‘Sax in the City’ and Sax to the Max!’ CDs. He was one of seven composers involved in the Choir’s 7 Wonders project, premiered earlier this year at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham, and recently performed at the 15th World Saxophone Congress in Thailand. Three of Nigel’s titles feature on his first solo album ‘Soprillogy’, a pioneering CD for the world’s smallest saxophone the Soprillo, and last year Equinox commissioned him to write Partial Eclipse for Electronic Wind Instrument and saxophones, the title track of the ensemble’s first CD.