Borealis Saxophone Quartet


Individual Biographies:

Alastair Penman - Gillian Blair - Victoria Puttock - Daniel White

Quartet Biography:

The Borealis Saxophone Quartet is an award-winning chamber ensemble based in Manchester.  The quartet formed in 2009 whilst all of the members were studying at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Rob Buckland. During their time at the RNCM the quartet received coaching from chamber music specialists including Matt Hunt, Raaf Hekkema, Tim Reynish and Andy Scott and performed in public masterclasses with Johan van der Linden and Peter Cropper.

Having given their debut performance at Bridgewater Hall, the quartet has continued to give regular performances at prestigious venues including Kings Place and St John’s Smith Square.  In 2012 the quartet made their radio debut, performing Per Nørgård’s ‘Dansere om Jupiter’ as part of the BBC Proms festival, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

As well as giving regular recitals the quartet has enjoyed much competition success. In 2013 the quartet won the Trevor Wye Memorial Prize, the inaugural Apollo Saxophone Quartet/RNCM Saxophone Ensemble Prize, the June Emerson Launchpad Prize and were named the Christopher Rowland RNCM Chamber Ensemble of the Year.  They were finalists in the 2012 RNCM Concerto Compeition, the 2014 Royal Overseas League Chamber Music Competition, and most recently have been selected as Young Artists for the Park Lane Group Concert Series 2014/15.

The Borealis Saxophone Quartet has a strong interest in contemporary music and enjoys building it’s own repertory.  The quartet has commissioned works from composers including Gary Carpenter, (“The North”, premiered as St John’s Smith Square and supported by the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain), Tom Harrold (“Gentle Skies”, premiered at Kings Place Festival) and Lucy Pankhurst (“Borealis, Into Blue”, premiered at the RNCM).  The quartet has also collaborated with composers from the RNCM and the Northern Ballet School on a number of new works for saxophone quartet and dancers.  Most recently the quartet premiered four new works by RNCM composers as part of the RNCM Gold Medal Competition.

In October, the quartet made its first international tour to Serbia, performing in Belgrade and surrounding areas as well as giving workshops and making appearances on national radio and television. The quartet's debut album 'The North', which solely features works commissioned or arranged by the quartet, was also released  in October and is now available for purchase.

The quartet is available to hire for lunchtime and evening recitals as well as for private functions.  For more information please get in touch using the contact page or emailing

Borealis Saxophone Quartet
© Borealis Saxophone Quartet 2014