Friday 13th November 2015: John Harle

As part of the annual concert series that Jess promotes, John Harle (one of the world’s greatest saxophonists) will perform with Steve Lodder in Ulverston.

John Harle is an Ivor Novello Award-winning composer-performer and record producer. Recent record releases of John’s music include the critically acclaimed The Tyburn Tree and Art Music, both with singer Marc Almond of Soft Cell.

As a saxophonist, his playing has been the catalyst for an outpouring of new concertos for the saxophone by composers including Michael Nyman, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Sir John Tavener, Sally Beamish, Gavin Bryars, Mark Anthony Turnage, Michael Torke, Dominic Muldowney, Stanley Myers and Christopher Gunning.

John’s performance of Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s saxophone concerto Panic at the Last Night of the BBC Proms in 1997 was cited by many critics as the most controversial premiere of a new musical work since Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in 1913. 

He was artistic advisor to Sir Paul McCartney for six years, and other collaborations have included John’s Terror and Magnificence album and tour with Elvis Costello. He has also been producer and musical director for Moondog, Herbie Hancock, Ute Lemper, Lesley Garrett, Kathryn Tickell, Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine, Stanley Myers and Elmer Bernstein.

He is the composer of two operas (Angel Magick and The Ballad of Jamie Allen), many concert works and over 100 film and television scores, including the theme to BBC1’s Silent Witness, and the epic score to Simon Schama’s History of Britain. John is the recipient of two Royal Television Society awards for ‘Best Soundtrack’, and has been awarded four BBC Proms commissions. His Ivor Novello award for ‘Best Soundtrack’ was for the score to the Blakeway/BBC2 production Lucian Freud – Painted Life, directed by Randall Wright.

He is director and producer at Sospiro Records, and future plans include a collaboration with bassist Avishai Cohen in 2016, several new projects with Marc Almond, and The Tyburn Tree, a new show with projection-mapping at Canary Wharf in 2016. This September John will be performing in the Discreet/Oblique project at the Barbican with David Coulter (Damon Albarn/Yoko Ono) and Leo Abrahams (Marianne Faithful/Brian Eno) in a reconstruction of Brian Eno’s Discreet Music.

Coronation Hall, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 7LT