English composer. His music is known for its rich texture and organic quality, drawing from a range of influences including his Jewish heritage. He has composed a range of classical works, for example the chamber symphony The Circles of Light (1986) and the opera Caritas (1991).
At the age of 21, Saxton won the Gaudeamus International Composers prize. In 1986 he became a Fulbright fellow at Princeton University, USA, where he was assistant to Oliver Knussen at Tanglewood. Returning to the UK, he was head of composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, 1991–97 and at the Royal Academy of Music, London, 1998–99. Since 1999 he has been fellow and tutor in music at Worcester College, Oxford.
Saxton was born in London, and started composing at the age of six. He received early guidance from Benjamin Britten and studied with Elisabeth Lutyens, Robin Holloway, Robert Sherlaw Johnson, and Luciano Berio.
WorksOperaCaritas (1991); The Wandering Jew (2010), radio opera.
Chamber/emsembleLa Promenade d'Automne (1972) for soprano and ensemble; What Does the Song Hope For? (1974) for soprano and ensemble; Reflections on Narziss and Goldmund (1975) for two chamber groups, harp, and piano; Canzona (1978) for chamber ensemble; Eloge (1980) for soprano and ensemble; Traumstadt (1980) Processions and Dances (1981); Piccola Musica per Luigi Dallapiccola (1981); The Sentinel of the Rainbow (1984); The Circles of Light (1986), chamber symphony; Psalm: a Song of Ascents (1992) for trumpet and ensemble; Ring, Time (1994) for wind ensemble; A Yardstick to the Stars (1995); Songs, Dances, and Ellipses (1997) for string quartet.
OrchestralChoruses to Apollo (1980); The Ring of Eternity (1983); concerto for orchestra (1984); viola concerto (1986); In the Beginning (1987); Elijah's Violin (1988); concerto for violin (1989); concerto for cello (1993).
ChoralI Will Awake the Dawn (1987); Canticum Luminis (1995); Alternative canticles (2002); Five Motets (2003); Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (2010).
InstrumentalRitornelli and Intermezzi (1972) for solo piano; Music for St Catharine (1998) for organ; Sonata for solo cello on a theme of Walton (2000).