Joel Garthwaite



With a style and technique that led to The Observer describing him as “sprinkling stardust over everything he plays”, Joel Garthwaite has pursued a varied performance and recording career as a classical saxophonist for more than a decade.

His performance work is centred on the award-winning Lunar Saxophone Quartet that, since 2006, has developed a reputation as one of the best contemporary chamber music ensembles in the UK. He also regularly performs with the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO), and his relationship with renowned composer Gabriel Jackson has led to him premiering a number of Jackson’s works featuring saxophone. Joel’s extensive media work has encompassed numerous live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, Sky Arts, and BBC TV and Radio.

Graduating from both the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (BMus, 2006) and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (MMus, 2007), Joel’s performance journey has taken him to a wide range of settings, from leading classical venues across the UK such as the Barbican and the Royal Festival Hall to less obvious spaces for a classical saxophonist such as the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho and the Roundhouse in Camden.

Other notable artistic collaborations have included working and performing with composer Shiva Feshareki (TTKonzert’ – Concerto for 4 Turntables, Sax Quartet and Large Orchestra (2010) and GH Konzert for Guitar Hero Nintendo and mixed ensemble (2011)), while in 2016 he appeared with the LCO in a memorable concert alongside influential composer Terry Riley at Barbican Hall.

Over the past decade he has worked closely with Gabriel Jackson on a number of new projects, including debut performances of:

• LM-7: Aquarius (2007), with the Lunar Saxophone Quartet;
• Vox Clara Ecce Intonat (2013), with St. John’s College Choir, Cambridge;
• The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ (2014), with the Choir of Merton College, Oxford;
• Aria for Joel and Vicki (2015), with organist Luke Bond; and
• That Wind Blowing and That Tide (2016), with Truro Cathedral Choir.

Joel has recorded for labels including Signum Records, Regent Records and Edition Records. His latest recording of Jackson’s works, Vox Clara, featuring Truro Cathedral Choir and Luke Bond, was released on Regent Records in 2016 to critical acclaim.

For availability and bookings, please contact Joel directly.


‘Joel Garthwaite (saxophone) and Luke Bond (organ) sprinkle stardust over everything they play.’ The Observer

‘And with chiaroscuro supplied by Dave Brown’s earthy double bass and Joel Garthwaite’s keening soprano saxophone, the LCO’s spread of instrumental timbres ultimately magnified the piece’s kaleidoscopic effect and its formidable, hard-won climax.’ The Guardian

‘This is lyrical ensemble playing at its very best’ Gramophone

‘James Williamson’s In Memoriam is achingly contemplative, while the title of Lucy Pankhurst’s Diaphanousphere suggests the delicate webs of sound created by the quartet.’ The Independent

‘this glorious release is unbeatable.’ Gramophone Editor’s Choice (Nov ’16)

‘Move over Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble!’ Church Music Quarterly