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Saturday 31 January 2009

AMY DICKSON (saxophone)

Countess of Munster scheme



31 January 2009 - Amy Dickson (Saxophone)

"Ms. Dickson's sound is a revelation…this was lyrical playing at its best" - New York Concert Review

Born in Sydney, Amy began saxophone lessons at the age of seven with Melinda Atkins and later with Mark Walton. Amy made her concerto debut at 16, and at 17 she became a recipient of the James Fairfax Australian Young Artist of the Year competition, which led to a recording of the Dubois Divertissement with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. One year later, she embarked upon an international career which has since led her to travel throughout the world as a soloist. In London, she has studied with Kyle Horch and Martin Robertson, and in the Amsterdam, with Arno Bornkamp.

She became the winner of many international competitions, and was the first saxophonist to win the Gold Medal at the Royal Overseas League Competition, the Prince's Prize and the Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year award.

Amy now gives recitals and performs concertos throughout the world and has performed in venues including the Wigmore Hall, the Bridgewater Hall, the Purcell Room, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and the Beurs van Berlage. She has toured as a soloist with orchestras including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Amadeus Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria, and as a solo recitalist throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Amy was invited to perform at the 2005 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and has also performed at St James' Palace, the Scottish Parliament and for Australian Prime Minister, John Howard. As leader of the Zephirus Saxophone Quartet, Amy has also toured throughout the United Kingdom and parts of Europe and has won first prize in the ensemble section of the Royal Overseas League Competition.

A strong advocate of new music and a fervent supporter of contemporary composers, Amy has worked with composers throughout the world and has given the first performances of numerous compositions, including those by Philip Glass, Graeme Koehne, Graham Fitkin and Huw Watkins.

Martin Cousins (pianist)

Martin Cousin is now regarded as one of the most dynamic pianists of his generation, having been awarded 1st Prize at the 2005 Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition and Gold Medal at the 2003 Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition.
He appears regularly at the major London musical venues such as Wigmore Hall, the South Bank, Barbican Centre as well as Birmingham's Symphony Hall and Manchester's Bridgewater Hall. He has performed as concerto soloist with the London Philharmonic, Halle, Royal Philharmonic and BBC Concert orchestras.

Performances further afield have included tours of New Zealand and the US, concerts in Stockholm, Brussels, Toronto, Berne and the Hague together with numerous recitals throughout Italy.

In 2005, Martin undertook a three month residency at the Banff Centre in Canada, specifically to prepare and perform the last three Beethoven Sonatas and 2006 saw the release of his debut CD featuring Rachmaninov's Sonata No. 1 and Morceaux de Salon with SOMM Recordings.

This disc was met with universal acclaim and was selected as Classical CD of the week by the Daily Telegraph, with Geoffrey Norris stating that, "Martin Cousin's debut disc establishes a striking new benchmark for the interpretation of Rachmaninov's 1st Piano Sonata....has discretion, judgment, perception and formidable technique." The US magazine Fanfare added, "This is the performance of the 1st Sonata that I have always heard in my head but never thought I'd actually get to hear with my ears. This guy's the Real Deal."

Highlights of this season include Shostakovich's 2nd Concerto for the Houtland Festival in Belgium with the Charlemagne Orchestra, tours to Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Cyprus and the Al Bustan Festival in Lebanon, along with various solo and chamber recitals in the UK.

Martin's hands are also featured on the big screen in the Oscar-winning film "Shine", for the scenes involving Rachmaninov's 3rd Concerto.


Demersseman: Fantaisie sur un theme original
Milhaud: Scaramouche
Creston: Sonata
Gershwin: 3 Preludes
Macmillan: Kiss on Wood
Hindson: In search of Ecstasy
Hurralde: Pequena Czarda

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