Saturday, 30 May 2020

Sax star Huw will be right at home

Sax star Huw will be right at home

SAXOPHONIST Huw Wiggin will be centre stage when the Henley Symphony Orchestra plays its annual summer concert.

Following the success of last year’s performance on the Henley Festival’s floating stage, the orchestra is making a return visit on Saturday, July 13.

The concert, which starts at noon, will see Henley-born soloist Huw play the virtuosic Scaramouche by Milhaud and his own contrasting transcription of Bach’s Keyboard Concerto BWV 1056 with its famous Largo.

Huw, who grew up in Oaks Road, Shiplake, attended Gillotts School and is today an ambassador for Henley Music School.

The 32-year-old’s day job is professor of saxophone at the Royal Academy of Music but he regularly performs all over the world as a touring musician.

This time last year he released his debut album, Reflections, having previously been named Commonwealth Musician of the Year and First Prize and Gold Medal winner of the 2014 Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition.

A Henley Symphony Orchestra spokesman said: “The concert opens with Sibelius’s much-loved Karelia Suite, which he wrote in a mood of nationalistic fervour for the Karelia region of north-east Finland. We are then transported by the youthful passion of Wagner’s Tannhäuser overture to the mythical mountain of Venusberg and the fortunes of the erring knight.

“After the delights of Huw Wiggin’s saxophone, the HSO performs Tchaikovsky’s Fantasy Overture: Romeo and Juliet, which was inspired by Shakespeare’s play of the same name and contains one of the most famous romantic melodies of all time. A whirling Slavonic Dance by Dvorak brings the concert to a triumphant close.”

Under the guidance of its music director Ian Brown and leader David Burton, Henley Symphony Orchestra continues to attract players from across the Thames Valley.

It promotes an annual series of four concerts, featuring internationally acclaimed artists to provide high-quality classical music-making for the enjoyment of local concert-goers. The spokesman added: “Since its formation in 1970, HSO has given concerts in Henley’s twin towns of Falaise and Leichlingen and, in 2017, performed at the Bled International Music Festival in Slovenia for the first time.

“It appears regularly at Reading’s two main performance venues, the Concert Hall and Hexagon, and last year gave its inaugural performance on the floating stage.

“Sit back on the bank of the River Thames, watch the world float by and enjoy beautiful classical music played by Henley’s very own orchestra.”

Tickets are £20 with seating unreserved and £10 for under-16s and students. They can be purchased from the HSO box office on 01235 859210 or online via

For more information on the Henley Festival, call (01491) 843404 or visit

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