Earth Dances

by Samantha Atkinson
(Birmingham, England)

Me and the Aza Saxophone Quartet entered the Andrew Downes Prize at RBC this year (2023). We set to learning the incredibly demanding Earth Dances, and enjoyed the challenge incredibly!
We went on to win the competition! We had so much fun playing this piece, it is so tricky but so enjoyable.
Thank you to Anna Downes and the rest of the Downes family for the wonderful opportunity.

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Mar 17, 2023
An honour to judge Andrew’s Performance Prize at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire this year
by: Martin Riley

It was an absolute pleasure and an honour to be the guest judge for Andrew Downes’s performance prize this year at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Andrew was certainly someone who once met was never forgotten. A legend and my old teacher, colleague, mentor, friend. His music lives on through live performances and the Aza Saxophone Quartet gave a brilliantly spirited and exciting performance of Earth Dances which gave us all the privilege of listening-in to Andrew’s immense musical personality again. A wonderful night of sharing the magic of music creation and performance.

Mar 14, 2023
Thank you
by: Paula Downes

Hi Samantha and the Aza Saxophone Quartet,

Thank you so much for your message and thank you so much for entering the Andrew Downes Prize at RBC this year and for performing his Earth Dances for Saxophone Quartet so beautifully!

Congratulations on winning the prize and I hope to be able to hear you perform myeslef at some point!

All best wishes,


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