Saxophonist Jess Gillam has premiered new works by both John Harle and Anna Meredith in recent weeks.
Gillam's award-winning show for BBC Radio 3 "This Classical Life" was reimagined as a live concert in the Royal Festival Hall on 7 July. She appeared as both presenter and soloist was joined by the BBC Concert Orchestra under Hugh Brunt in a programme that included the world premiere of a new arrangement of Anna Meredith's Bubble Gun - a track that Gillam recorded for her second Decca album "TIME" (see video below). Meredith's work first appeared on her 2013 EP 'Jet Black Raider'. It was arranged for Gillam's concert by Jack Ross and is scored for solo alto saxophone, percussion, harp and strings. View score.
More information on the concert here.
Then on 26 July, with two performances at the Proms at St Jude's in North London, the young saxophonist launched the Jess Gillam Ensemble - a new group that sees her joined by piano, percussion and string quintet. It kicked off a UK tour of 12 concerts including further dates at Saffron Hall, Cheltenham Festival and Snape Maltings.
Their tour programme included the world premiere of Flare by Gillam's teacher and mentor, John Harle. The new 10-minute work is a reworking of the opening movement of Briggflatts - his 21-minute soprano saxophone concerto, written for and premiered by Gillam with the BBC Concert Orchestra with Bramwell Tovey in 2019, and which was inspired by the eponymous autobiographical poem by Basil Bunting. View score of Flare here.