THE 41st Classics at the Castle, the saxophone soiree, held last Friday night, featured two young former pupils of Kingswood College, Adam Campbell on saxophone and Peter Cartwright accompanying him on piano.
According to the programme the saxophone was invented by Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1846 and combines the projection of a brass instrument with the agility of a woodwind like the clarinet. There are about six different sized saxophones including the alto sax and the small, straight soprillo. Pre-eminent in jazz, the sax is also popular in military and classical music.
Introducing the musicians, convenor Sue Gordon said Campbell had come a long way to be there as he was currently studying in Besançon, France.
“Adam Campbell started studying saxophone at Kingswood and appeared at the Classics at the Castle the first time when he was still a school boy wearing a boater,” said Gordon.
Success in the Grahamstown National Music Competition (2012) and the SA Music Teachers Competiton (2011) launched his career. He has performed in recitals with Rhodes Orchestra, l’Harmonie de Chaprais, the Strasbourg Saxophone Orchestra and other venues in Switzerland and Germany.
He has had masterclasses with international saxophonists throughout Europe. Having graduated with distinction from the Conservatoire with a diploma in classical sax, he joined the class of acclaimed Philippe Geiss in Strasbourg. He is currently studying under Cécile Dubois.
In 2015 he organised the South African tour of Connections Sax Quartet which then performed at Richmond House. In 2016 he played Prolongements dedicated to him by composer Jean-David Mehri at the Music International Contemporary Music Festival.
Since then he has performed with the Avena Sax Quartet – a vibrant young European group fast garnering international fame – and toured Japan on invitation last year.
Cartwright’s parents had also come all the way from Grahamstown to see their son perform at the Classics at the Castle.
Gordon also thanked members of the audience who came from as far afield as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Canada, the United States and Holland for their support.
“The concert was sold out two weeks ago and credit goes to all music lovers,” she said.
She also thanked the Grahamstown Music Society for booking Campbell.
Proceeds of the concert go to musicians, travel expenses, then maintenance and development of the Richmond House Museum-Music Room