Classical Recital with the Aaben Duo - followed by afternoon tea
Nathan Holroyd: saxophone
Jess Hughes: harp
A welcome return to the now yearly favourite for many – the classical recital followed by afternoon tea in the beautiful setting of the Yellow Broom Restaurant. This year we have two outstanding musicians from the RNCM who bring together the saxophone and the harp. This is always a sell-out event so ensure buying your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
The saxophone and harp duo community is an exciting up-and-coming genre, which is internationally recognised, but also spearheaded by Manchester musicians. As part of the Aaben Duo, established in 2019, Nathan Holroyd and Jess Hughes have given several performances of new and traditional works, including many pieces which they arranged for the duo themselves. Notable performances include their showcase of Andy Scott’s contemporary Sonata at the RNCM in 2019; a concert of female composers for International Women’s Day at the Anthony Burgess Foundation in 2022; and several concerts of popular French Classics arranged entirely by the two performers toured around Manchester in 2022 and 2023.
Saxophonist Nathan Holroyd recently received a Graduate Diploma from the RNCM and now works in the Programming Team at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. In the summer of 2021, whilst studying at RNCM, Nathan graduated from the University of Manchester with a First Class Undergraduate Degree in Music (Honours) as part of the RNCM and University’s ‘Joint Course’. Nathan’s central passion is new music, with a view to create new commissions and collaborations through ensembles he has founded such as Northern Reeds and the Aaben Duo.
Harpist Jess Hughes also graduated from the RNCM with a First Class Undergraduate Degree in Music (Honours) and a Master’s Degree, with Anne-Marie O’Farrell as her principal tutor. Throughout her courses, Jess has performed with many of the RNCM Orchestras and Ensembles, as well as with the RNCM Harp Ensemble (led by her former tutor Eira Lynn Jones) and her harp duo ‘Tegid Duo’. She has also performed as a soloist in venues all over her home county of Somerset, including The Pump Rooms in Bath and Glastonbury Abbey. Jess’s main love is Romantic and 20th century French harp repertoire but has also recently discovered the infinite library of contemporary works, especially those by female composers. She hopes to continue to share her passion for the harp through performances of these wonderful, inspiring pieces.
The Aaben Duo appear by kind permission of the RNCM