Friday, 9th February 2018


Friday, 9th February 2018




Gillian Blair-saxophone

David Gibson-piano





Gillian Blair - Saxophone 

Gillian Blair is an award winning classical saxophonist from the Wirral. She obtained Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Rob Buckland, Carl Raven and Andy Scott and scholarships from the Oglesby Charitable Trust, the Helen Mackaness Award and the Countess of Munster Trust in support of her studies. In September 2017, Gillian was appointed as a tutor of Saxophone and Chamber Music at the Junior RNCM. 

                Gillian has won competitions including the International Young Musician Competition at the Llangollen Eisteddfod, the D’Addario Single Reed Competition and the RNCM Woodwind Competition. She was a finalist in the RNCM Gold Medal and Concerto Competitions and whilst at the RNCM she received the Timothy Reynish Award for outstanding contribution to the college, and the Sir John Manduell Prize for musical entrepreneurship. She has performed around the UK and abroad at festivals and concert series' including the BBC Proms, the World Saxophone Congress, EurSax (Porto) and several broadcasts for BBC Radio 3. Her 2017/18 engagements include recitals with her duo partner David Gibson, and concerto performances with the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra, City of Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, Oldham Symphony Orchestra and Bolton Chamber Orchestra.

                Gillian is passionate about chamber music and performs regularly with the Borealis Saxophone Quartet and Polaris Duo at venues including the Bridgewater Hall, St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields and King’s Place. The quartet’s accolades include winning the RNCM’s ‘Chris Rowland Ensemble of the Year’ Competition and the Apollo Saxophone Quartet Prize. They reached the final of the Royal Overseas League Competition and have been selected as Park Lane Group, ‘BBC Introducing' and Live Music Now artists. 

                Gillian has performed with larger ensembles including the Orchestra of Opera North, Tenor Saxophone Collective, European Union Youth Wind Orchestra, Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra, Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Soundscape Chamber Orchestra. 

                For more information please visit:

David Gibson

David Gibson LRSM ATCL grew up in Bangor, Northern Ireland and began piano lessons at the age of 7. He studied his BMus (Hons) degree in music performance with pianist and chamber musician Jeremy Young at the RNCM in Manchester. More recently he has received lessons with Kathryn Stott, as well as additional coaching from Stephen Hough, Nelson Goerner and Noriko Ogawa to name a few.

     David is in demand as a soloist, accompanist, orchestral pianist and chamber musician both in Ireland and in England. He has recently performed in venues such as the RNCM Concert Hall and St Martin in the Fields, and has given recitals as part of the Summer Recital Series in Coleraine, the Didsbury Coffee Concerts Series, Chethams Summer School and Festival for Pianists, the Saturday Piano Recital series in St Ann’s Church Manchester and for EPTA UK in Belfast. He has made a number of concerto appearances with the Ballymena Chamber Orchestra and won the RNCM Concerto Competition in 2014. Consequently, he performed Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra in 2015. 

     Winner of the RNCM Emmanuel Prize, David was awarded a bursary as one of the inaugural winners of Flax Trust Classics at Queens University Belfast in 2012. He has also had the opportunity to participate in masterclasses with the Ulster Orchestra, playing for professional pianists Nikolai Demidenko and Peter Donohoe. 

     A passionate chamber musician, his piano trio were winners of the RNCM Weil Prize and finalists of the Nossek Prize in 2016. The trio have been invited to perform in the RNCM chamber music festival, the Didsbury Coffee Concerts Series and have also premiered a contemporary piece written especially for them. They completed a successful tour of Northern Ireland giving a number of concerts across the country. David received the Stella Bradshaw Award for Accompaniment from the RNCM, and as an accompanist has performed in numerous competition finals at the RNCM.

     Amongst other musical interests, David is a keen conductor and plays for professional ballet classes at the Northern Ballet School. 


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