Wed 28 October
Leeds Town Hall
Gillian Blair – saxophone
Elinor Nicholson – harp
CPE Bach - Sonata in G minor
Esther Swift - What is Joy to You? Listen
Gustav Bumcke - Notturno Op 45 Listen
Andy Scott - Sonata for Saxophone and Harp
i With Energy Listen
ii Relaxed Listen
iii With Purpose Listen
Programme duration approximately 50 mins. Please note there will be no interval.
Gillian Blair (saxophone) and Elinor Nicholson (harp) formed the Polaris Duo in 2011 whilst studying at the Royal Northern College of Music. The ensemble has since been exploring an eclectic range of repertoire and possibilities for this unusual instrumentation.
The duo perform regularly around the UK and recently made its international debut in Croatia at the World Saxophone Congress. The Polaris Duo has performed at UK venues including the Bridgewater Hall, Buxton Opera House, Warwick University and the International Anthony Burgess Foundation as well as regularly performing for music societies. The duo are BBC Introducing Artists, were 2nd prize winners in the British Harp Chamber Music Competition and has been featured in the Lake District Summer Music New Generation Artists Concert Series. The duo are looking forward to performing at the 2020 World Harp Congress in Cardiff.
The Polaris Duo is dedicated to presenting new music and expanding the repertoire for this uncommon pairing of instruments. The duo enjoy arranging existing works and commissioning new music from composers which has led to them giving UK, European and World premieres of numerous works. The duos most recent commissions include compositions by Melissa Douglas, Esther Swift and Paul Mitchell-Davidson. In Summer 2019 the ensemble collaborated with composer Gavin Wayte on an Arts Council England funded project working with pupils from a local sixth form college to create music around the theme of borders. This project also saw the duo give the premiere of Gavin’s work Crossing for Soprano Saxophone, Harp and Electronics at the Uppermill Summer Music Festival. The ensemble has continued to work with Gavin on a further expansion of the piece, Crossing 2, which was premiered by the duo and the RNCM New Ensemble at the 2019 New Music Manchester Festival.
The Polaris Duo released its debut album; illuminate in April 2018. The music featured includes original works by Manchester based composers Andy Scott, Rob Buckland and Melissa Douglas alongside arrangements of works by well-known composers including CPE Bach and Camille Saint-Saëns.
In addition to its work as performers, the Polaris Duo is passionate about education and outreach and has delivered workshops for the Classical Kids Concert Series and Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra’s Outreach Programme. The duo are proud to be artists for Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now Scheme where it has performed to people who may not normally have the opportunity to experience live music.
For more information about the Polaris Duo visit www.polarisduo.com
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We believe that music really is for everyone. To reflect this, our Leeds Lunchtime Organ Music and Leeds Lunchtime Chamber Music series are free to attend. We are always grateful to accept cash donations after each lunchtime concert, which go directly to supporting these series. However, if you would prefer to donate online you can do so at any time here.