Richard Scholfield is a Scottish saxophonist whose artistic approach weaves together tradition and innovation. His nuanced and characterful performances create meaningful connections with audiences and collaborators.
Alongside his passion for showcasing the diverse and often underappreciated repertoire of the saxophone, Richard is skilled as an arranger and transcriber and is always looking for new opportunities to explore the capabilities of the saxophone. He has created a wide range of solo and chamber transcriptions of both original saxophone repertoire as well as historical works originally composed for other instruments, by composers such as J.S. Bach, Dvorak, Prokofiev and Poulenc. His work encompasses solo appearances, varied chamber music collaborations, appearances with leading Scottish orchestras, and education and community music projects. He is delighted to be a 2020 City Music Foundation Artist.
I’m looking forward to making new connections with the CMF team, artists and mentors. Working with them will open up new and exciting possibilities for performance and collaboration, and this makes me optimistic for the future!
One of Richard’s most recent projects was a concert tour with the Resol String Quartet featuring a specially written programme of new arrangements, excerpts of which were featured in a live appearance on BBC Radio Scotland’s Classics Unwrapped with Jamie MacDougall. The tour, with music themed on an ‘Atypical Romance’ took place in late 2021, with performances and educational workshops from Glasgow into the Inner Hebrides, including events in Seil, Easdale, Oban, Arran and Islay. The programme included a new transcription of Vaughan Williams’ Six Studies in English Folksong, as well as an arrangement of selected movements from Chopin’s Polish Songs and an alternative setting of William Grant Still’s original saxophone work Romance. This project was supported by the National Lottery through funding from Creative Scotland.
Richard was awarded a distinction in the 2021 Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition, and has performed concertos with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (2018), the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Wind Orchestra (2017) and the Kelvin Ensemble (2017). Richard has also appeared with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the orchestra of Scottish Opera.
In 2019, Richard attended the London Sinfonietta Academy and the European University of Saxophone, receiving guidance from some of the finest saxophonists in Europe. During his undergraduate and masters studies, he also made frequent trips to the Conservatorium van Amsterdam for solo lessons and chamber music coaching with Arno Bornkamp and Willem van Merwijk, as well as to attend events such as the SAX18 festival.
Richard gained a Master of Arts degree in saxophone performance from the Royal Conservatoire in 2019 under Josef Pacewicz and visiting professor Arno Bornkamp. During his studies he was awarded the Governors’ Recital Prize for Woodwind, as well as being awarded twice the Governors’ Recital Prize for Chamber Music. He attained first prize at the 2018 RCS Woodwind Concerto Competition, and was invited to perform Edward Gregson’s saxophone concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Perth Concert Hall.
Richard plays a Selmer Series II Alto Saxophone with a Selmer Mark 7 neck, and a Selmer Mark VI Soprano Saxophone (with Lagan Wrist Saver). He plays on a Selmer S90 180 alto mouthpiece, and a Selmer Concept soprano mouthpiece, and uses Legere Signature reeds and Silverstein ligatures.