Jess has written an article for the Guardian recommending 5 pieces of classical music for beginners.
Jess Gillam’s new track Pequena Czarda is released digitally on 23 November on Decca Classics.
“I’m so excited to share a brand new track with you today – Pequeña Czarda by Pedro Iturralde! This is one of my all time favourite pieces to play, I perform it regularly and you may have seen me play it at the BBC Young Musician 2016 Woodwind Category Final, so I’m incredibly excited to be able to finally release it for you all to listen, along with a brand new music video.”
Or you can watch her latest video here:
“Jess Gillam, the saxophonist from the Lake District, lighting up the hall with her seemingly effortless virtuosity and limitless expressiveness. Milhaud’s jazzy Scaramouche (1937 – 9) couldn’t have been a better choice. Gillam is all set for stardom: to listen is to love her.”
“Saxophonist Jess Gillam steals the show.” /// “She may only be 20 years old, but saxophonist Jess Gillam was the indisputable highlight of the Last Night of the Proms.”
“Jess Gillam…whirled through Milhaud’s Scaramouche, her outfit as dazzling as her fingerwork.”
Jess has won the Sound of Classical 2018 at the Classic Brit Awards!
Jess will be back in her home town on the 15 June to play at the 15th Ulverston International Music Festival. She performs Glazunov’s Concerto in E flat major for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra Op. 109 in an evening titled ‘Serenades & Concertos’. It also features the Festival’s Artistic Director, pianist Anthony Hewitt playing Shostakovich’s Concerto no. 1 in C minor Op. 35.
The Festival has played an important part in Jess’s musical life. Firstly helping to inspire her interest in music and then latterly as a platform for performances. “We’re incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic gathering of musicians from all of the world in my hometown. The quality is so high. I’m just sorry that I’m going to miss Nicholas Daniel’s recital!”
The Ulverston International Music Festival runs from 6 – 16 June. The full Festival brochure is available here:
Tickets available from corohall.co.uk
After making her BBC Proms debut in two Proms last year (John Williams Prom and BBC Ten Pieces Prom), Jess Gillam has been invited to perform in two Proms this year! She will be the youngest ever female soloist in the prestigious Last Night and she will also perform in the BBC Young Musician Prom to celebrate 40 years of the competition.
In the Last Night, she will perform Scaramouche by Darius Milhaud with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton on Sir Andrew Davis.
For more info of both events please click on the links below:
From Jess: “I feel extremely honoured to have been asked to perform at such a prestigious event and I cannot wait for the concert! I felt there was such an incredible atmosphere at the Proms last year – the audience were so attentive, the atmosphere was electric so I can’t begin to imagine how the Last Night will feel!
I found out about being asked to perform at the Last Night a few months ago and it has been very difficult to keep it quiet. I’ll also be performing at the BBC Young Musician Prom to celebrate 40 years of the competition and I’m really looking forward to being a part of that as the competition has been such a brilliant platform for me.
I will be performing Scaramouche by Darius Milhaud. It consists of three quite contrasting movements – the first being lively and bright, the second very beautiful and gentle whilst the third is fantastically energetic and very reminiscent of a carnival! I first began playing saxophone, aged 7, in the Barracudas carnival band and it will be fantastic to perform music of a similar spirit at a concert like this. The piece was written to be performed at the Théâtre Scaramouche, which is where the name originates from – Theatre Scaramouche specialized in plays and productions specifically for children. The piece is an absolute joy to play and I am very excited to perform it!”
TRAILBLAZING TEENAGER BECOMES FIRST SAXOPHONIST TO SIGN TO DECCA CLASSICS IN MAJOR NEW RECORD DEAL
One of today’s most electrifying young musicians, 19-year-old Jess Gillam, has signed an exclusive recording deal with Decca Classics– becoming the first saxophone player to join the historic label. This major new deal will help nurture her musical development as she takes the next steps in her growing career. She will enter the recording studio for Decca for the first time later this year.
Hailing from Ulverston in Cumbria, Jess is already blazing a trail in the music world with her outstanding talent and infectious personality. She first caught the public eye during BBC Young Musician 2016 when, at the age of 17, she made history as the first saxophonist to reach the final of the competition – wowing audiences with her performance of Michael Nyman’s Where the Bee Dances.
On signing to the label, Jess Gillam said: “I’m so excited to become the first saxophonist ever to join Decca Classics! The saxophone is such a dynamic, versatile and expressive instrument and I cannot wait to record some of my favourite music and share my passion for music and saxophone with as many people as possible.”
Dr. Alexander Buhr, Managing Director of Decca Classics, commented:“Jess is a unique new voice in the classical music world. She is an exceptionally talented and dedicated musician, and a great communicator. Her charisma and energy are undeniable. We are delighted to welcome her to the Decca Classics family and look forward to partnering with her on her musical journey ahead.”
Rebecca Allen, President of Decca Records,added: “Jess is spearheading a new generation of young female artists whose captivating personality and compelling musicianship offer a bright future to classical music.”
Last year, Jess made her BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall, and she will be returning this year for two more performances: firstly, as part of the BBC Young Musician 40th Anniversary Prom on 15thJuly, and secondly as one of the star soloists in the ever-popular Last Night of the Proms on 8thSeptember.
Jess’ concert career continues to go from strength to strength – highlights include regular performances with the Manchester Camerata, Royal Northern Sinfonia and BBC Concert Orchestra. She makes her debut with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra this autumn and has already appeared with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and made a guest appearance with Jools Holland and his R&B Orchestra. On the international stage, Jess will be performing with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (Sweden), L’Auditori Barcelona (Spain), Argovia Philharmonic (Switzerland) and Tampere Philharmonic (Finland). Jess is a champion of new music for saxophone and there will be a number of new commissions written for her over the coming years.
Hooked on saxophone from a young age, Jess is keen to give people from all backgrounds access to classical music and has set up her own concert series in Ulverston, bringing world-renowned musicians from across the world to her hometown. She is also a patron for Awards for Young Musicians, a charity which offers promising young performers support to progress their musical talent. Jess is currently studying at Royal Northern College of Music and with internationally-renowned saxophonist John Harle.
Jess talks eloquently about music and has already made a number of high profile media appearances in the UK including BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 (Woman’s Hour) and BBC Radio 6 Music, plus BBC Radio Cumbria made a programme about her. She featured in the recent BBC Four documentary, ‘BBC Young Musician: Forty Years Young’ and is also the presenter of a brand new series of BBC Young Musician podcasts which explore what it takes to be a musician in today’s world.
A free spirit in style and character, Jess Gillam is constantly seeking new opportunities for the saxophone and is always pushing musical boundaries. As she embarks on a brand new recording career, there looks to be no stopping this bright and adventurous young musician as she reaches the latest milestone in her flourishing career.
A pdf of the Decca Classics Jess Gillam Press Release can be downloaded here.
Jess Gillam is managed by HarrisonParrott/Polyarts and remains grateful to the Young Classical Artists Trust for their support. She is a Vandoren UK Artist, and became the youngest ever endorsee for Yanagisawa Saxophones aged 13.
Jess has been nominated for The Sound of Classical poll at the Classic Brits 2018! “The future is very much on the Classic BRIT Awards’ agenda with the launch of The Sound Of Classical poll to promote the best emerging artists and ones-to-watch in classical music. Aged 30 or under and tipped for a great future, the winner will be chosen by an expert panel and revealed at the ceremony in June.”
BBC Young Musician – The Podcast
19-year old Jess Gillam has taken the classical music world by storm since being the first saxophonist to reach the final of BBC Young Musician in 2016. In this series of six podcasts (published weekly from Friday 6th April to coincide with the TV broadcasts) she’s joined by two of her friends and musical partners, pianist Zeynep Ozcusa and bass player Sam Becker, to explore just what it takes to make a life in music. They’ll be joined by special guests, including former Young Musicians winners Nicola Bennedetti and Sheku-Kanneh Mason, to talk about everything from stage fright and memorising music, to choosing what to wear on stage.