Saxophonist and Teacher
Saxophonist and Teacher
Dr. Alastair Wright’s playing has been described as “tremendously technical and high flying” (KC Metropolis) and “dulcet-like…with a luminescent sheen” (Classical Voice of North Carolina). Originally from the United Kingdom, he holds music performance degrees from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (Bachelor of Music with Honors), the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Master of Music) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance (Doctor of Musical Arts). Prior to joining the faculty at UW-Eau Claire, Alastair taught saxophone at the University of Central Missouri. He is a Conn-Selmer and D'Addario artist.
As saxophone soloist, Alastair has performed with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (as finalist in the 5th Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition), Mid America Freedom Band, University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory Choir, the UK-based Thallein Contemporary Ensemble and Sutton Coldfield Orchestra. Recently, he has performed with the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and at the Open Spaces KC festival. Recent projects include developing improvisations to explore music from various cultures, and a recording of David Ludwig's "The Anchoress" with PRISM Quartet.
Alastair is active as a chamber musician, and tours regularly with his chamber group Dionysus which is made up of two saxophones and piano, a re-invention of the traditional piano trio. With this group he has toured the US and abroad, performing at Lincoln Center for Education (NYC), Interlochen Center for the Arts, St. Giles Cathedral (Edinburgh) and at several universities and colleges. Dionysus has recently released their debut album Hocket, which is a celebration of living American composers.
His saxophone quartet, Dasch, were winners of the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance National Quartet Competition. They released their debut CD, Necessary Edges, in 2016 which was described as “exquisite” and “immaculate” (Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain).
"Wright’s playing was tremendously technical and high-flying. So high-flying in fact, that when he reached for some of his highest altissimo notes my eyebrows shot up in sympathetic awe."
"...precise intonation and dulcet-like tone beautifully gilding...with a luminescent sheen."
"...a great sound, well balanced and nuanced. Needless to say, the technical proficiency is immaculate."
(review of Dasch Quartet)
Spring 2021 masterclasses (contact me to join us!)
March 24, Dr. Shawna Pennock (UNLV)
March 30, Dr. Myles Boothroyd (UWSP)
April 3, Naomi Sullivan (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire)
- 2/5, "Tradition and Innovation: Music for Saxophone and Piano"
- 3/5, Crossing Over: Musical Intersections
- 4/2, Woodwind Faculty Chamber Music
All streamed through pablocenter.org
Performing with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra as finalist in the Fifth Jean Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition, 2017.
François Rossé: Wend'kreis
Billie, by Jacob Ter Veldhuis, recorded for the UWEC First Friday's Faculty Recital Series, February 2021.
Trio Dionysus performs Anton Arensky's Piano Trio in D Minor, Michigan State University
From Dionysus' debut album "Hocket!"
An improvisation based on Ethiopian pop and jazz, inspired by the story of the Arba Lijoch, a group of Armenian orphans who had an enormous impact on the musical life in Addis Ababa.
Themes from this were taught to me by the Ethiopian-American saxophonist, Danny Mekonnen.
Larry Austin calls on the performer to improvise along to pre-recorded tape, drawing on the sound and music of the traditional Hungarian single reed instrument, the tárogató.