British composer Robert Saxton was born in London on 8 October 1953. He started writing music aged six, and had early guidance from Benjamin Britten and Elisabeth Lutyens. Later he studied with Robin Holloway at Cambridge, Robert Sherlaw Johnson at Oxford and also with Luciano Berio. At twenty-one, Saxton won the Gaudeamus International Composers Award, and in 1986 won a Fulbright Arts Fellowship, allowing him to reside at Princeton and work as Oliver Knussen's assistant at Tanglewood.
He has co-directed the composers' course on Hoy with Peter Maxwell Davies, and also directed the composers' course at the Dartington International Summer School. He has worked for the BBC and the Southbank Centre, and is Composer in Association at the Purcell School of Music. He has been Head of Composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, at the Royal Academy of Music, and was Professor of Composition and Tutorial Fellow in Music at Worcester College Oxford (from 1999 until 2021).
He has had a series of commissions, mostly in the UK, and was composer-in-residence at the 2016 Presteigne Festival.
CD Spotlight. Freshness and Vigour - Robert McCarney listens to music by British composer Robert Saxton. 'This is a very well prepared and presented disc that does an excellent job of providing a portrait of the composer.'
CD Spotlight. Elliptical Orbits - String quartets by British composers, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... the Kreutzer Quartet brings a faultless degree of unanimity and understanding to this selection of late twentieth century string music.'
Ensemble. Very Effective - Igor Stravinsky's 'The Soldier's Tale' at the Presteigne Festival, reviewed by Keith Bramich
Waiting to be Unveiled - Clare Hammond plays new music by Robert Saxton, plus J S Bach, Beethoven, Szymanowski, Adès and Medtner, heard by Mike Wheeler
Record Box. Dazzling Works - Contemporary music from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, recommended by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Outstanding Performances - Susan Milan at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman