Phoenix kicks off summer concert series


Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra kicks off a series of free summer concerts on Sunday 12 June with a one hour performance at Evington Park, Leicester, from 3 to 4pm.

This summer will be the first full performance season for Phoenix, who will playing live at four free outdoor events:

Phoenix, based in Market Harborough, currently has 15 members playing seven different types of saxophone, from the tiny sopranino through the more commonly-seen soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, to the bass and contrabass sax.

Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra Chair Stephen Bashforth said: “At Phoenix, our aim is to entertain our audiences, and also to demonstrate how versatile saxophones can be, across a wide range of music. We have been busy rehearsing for these concerts under the guidance of our Musical Director Tony Rifugiato, and we are really excited to be playing live at some truly outstanding venues this summer.”

With the saxophone rarely seen in classical music, Phoenix, together with Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra, broke the mould last year and showed just how versatile the saxophone can be, when they were jointly nominated for a prestigious national Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) ‘Innovation Award’. The RPS Awards are considered the Oscars of classical music, and this joint project was one of only six chosen from across the UK for this top accolade.

Phoenix will be kicking off their performance at Evington Park with the RPS Award nominated piece, Julius Fučík’s ‘Entry of the Gladiators’, which is known the world over as the most popular piece of circus music. The orchestra will be continuing with a relaxed repertoire of well-known pieces that are perfect for a hopefully sunny afternoon in the park, from traditional folk songs, modern pop and rock to film music, jazz and light classical pieces.

On Sunday 12 June, Phoenix will be performing on the Oval in front of the stylish Georgian mansion Evington House, that sits at the heart of Evington Park, from 3 to 4pm. Entrance is free, so why not grab a picnic and come along? Phoenix very much looks forward to seeing you!

For more details of all our summer events, please visit our events page.

Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra was formed in January 2020 and, having kept up virtual, online rehearsals throughout the Covid pandemic, made their first live performance at Harborough Green Week in September 2021.