Multi-award-winning musician Huw Wiggin is one of the most popular saxophonists of his generation.
Commonwealth Musician of the Year, First Prize and Gold Medal winner of the 2014 Royal Over-seas League Annual Music Competition, Huw is professor of saxophone at London’s Royal Academy of music; has held concerts across the world from Beijing to Brighton; is a competition judge; educator; and is part of the UK’s leading saxophone groups: The Ferio Saxophone Quartet.
Since forming in 2014, Ferio have picked up a number of prestigious international awards and have played in some of the world’s biggest concert halls. Despite this rise to success, the musicians are constantly seeking to broaden their horizons and attract new audiences.
Hugh said: “The music industry is a very ‘noisy’ field with so much happening all the time. To stand out it’s important to always play very well but to constantly come up with new and innovative programming ideas and to create new and fresh interpretations of works which may have already been performed and recorded many times.
“Ferio are one of the leading quartets in the country yet we are still looking to expand our audience and come up with new ideas and concepts every season.
“Presentation is particularly important. I feel that classical music needs to be presented in a way audiences can engage and appreciate it. The idea that ‘the music speaks for itself’ can be true but the presentation has to match the overall performance.
As a quartet, Huw says their influences are the Habanera Saxophone Quartet and the Amstel Quartet.
“We all studied at the Royal College of Music in London with saxophonist Kyle Horch,” Huw explained. “I was influenced by John Harle and Rob Buckland when I was young and then Daniel Gauthier which then led me to study in Germany.
“I am constantly influenced by different styles of music and the music of Spain in particular. Spanish music is so strongly part of the culture in Spain and I appreciate it differently to other styles of music.”
Hard work and dedication to the music are the keys to Huw’s rise to fame. A former pupil of Chethams School of Music, he graduated with a first class honours degree from the Royal Northern College of Music after which he won a scholarship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst. He continued his studies with a masters from the Royal College and his dedication was paid off with a large number of awards and prizes over his distinguished career.
He said: “It is very difficult for any young person to achieve success in any field I think, but particularly in music. The competition is extremely tough and it’s important to always play at the highest standard.
“I believe commitment and dedication are the most important attributes for any young musician. Talent is obviously important, but you have to put in the work around the edges to nurture and develop your talent. I feel that this is where a lot of young musicians fall down sometimes. Music is enjoyable but you have to be prepared to put in a lot of hard work.”
Huw’s advice to young musicians is to “always enjoy your music making.”
“If you are obsessive then do it, as I am! Be as confident as you can be in sharing your music with everyone and don’t hide away from the music.
“Don’t be afraid of becoming a musician as it is amazing! The experiences which I have had are amazing and I would never want to change that. “
Both Huw and the Ferio Saxophone Quartet are regular visitors to Dumfries and Galloway through their work with Absolute Classics.
Huw said: “The work that Absolute Classics is doing is absolutely incredible. Performing for Absolute Classics is always a highlight of the season for me and the quartet. Performing in smaller, more intimate venues is very enjoyable for us and having the opportunity to share our style of music with the region’s audiences is fantastic.
“Alex McQuiston is so good at finding the perfect venues and attracting audiences who come to listen to the concerts many times.”