Alex Paxton

Alex Paxton. Composer. Trombone..png

Studied at: Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music
Primary Instrument: Trombone
Started Aged: 8
Other Instruments: Euphonium, Trumpet, Tuba, Piano
Favourite Piece: Estampie Retrove from the Robertsbridge Codex


Alex Paxton writes incredible bespoke music for the students at Pelican to play and sing. You can listen to some of them on his SoundCloud!

Alex (1990) is an award-winning composer and improvising-trombonist based in the UK. His music is stylistically pluralist. Informed by his life as a jazz musician & improviser, Alex’s work draws upon an enormous range of classical and folk music traditions and heats them into his own uniquely explosive musical voice. Much of his work is interested in incorporating solecistic improvisation and is a celebration of expressive individual existence. He is artistic director, composer and trombonist of the ensemble DREAM MUSICS who have recorded his music with some of the Uk’s most exciting creative musicians; for examplePURPLE-TREE TAPESTRY, BYE, PRAYER; with STRINGS and JOAN RIVERS.

Alex was elected to the 9th International Composition Seminar 2019/20 and awarded a commission by Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt, Germany) . In 2019 he played and recorded his concerto OD ODY PINk’d for Jazz Musician and Royal National Scottish Orchestra (RSNO). He was a Leverhume Art Scholar with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 2016-2017: NOW WE ARE DUH-DUR. In 2018 Alex was awarded the Harriet Cohen Memorial Music Award for his compositions and in 2017 his piece SPAKE represented the UK in the Orchestral section of the International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM).

His music has been played/recorded by leading orchestras and ensembles including Ensemble Modern, Klammer Klang, London Philharmonic Orchestra LPO, Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), Ensemble x.y, x.y Song, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO), National Youth Jazz Orchestra (UK) NYJO, 
Listen-Pony, Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble, Psappha Ensemble, Orion Symphony Orchestra OSO, Helious Collective, Chaos Collective Orchestra, Mirrors of Hall Big Band, Dr. K Sextet, 5KBrass Quintet, RAM Philharmonic and RCM Philharmonic and soloists Tabea Debus, Patrick Terry, David Zucchi & Jacob Collier

He has written six operas including NOGGIN and the WHALE (Massed forces including 500 young instrumentalists and singes) FOR the LOVE of THORNSTIEN SHIVER hosted by English National Opera and Helios Collective, BEL and the DRAGON as part of the Tête à Tête opera festival, the EQUIVOCAL HARRIET BOWDLER at Second Movement Opera and WOOLF MUSIC at the Forge in Camden and RAVEN’s CHILD for Jacob Colier and Orchestra.

As an improvising and jazz trombonist Alex has played as a soloist with Royal Scotish National Orchestra (RSNO) & Ensemble x.y. He has made over 100 recordings as a soloist and performs regularly in duos with pionieering improvisers, as well playing in groups such as Apocalypse Jazz Unit, Speckles Brass.

Extensively, Alex writes art-music for musicians in community settings including, innovative ways of writing for young instrumentalists & singers in a post-Roald Dahl world of new-music. eg: NOGGIN and the WHALE (Massed forces including 500 young instrumentalists and singers), Fly Like a KitchenMuffin, Pudding Tummy and The Sound of Magic. He is composer in residence at Pelican Music Service.

Alex studied as a scholar at Royal Academy of Music (BMus hons - 1st class) and the Royal College of Music (MComp - distinction) under the supervision of Sir Peter Maxwell Davis, Jonathan Cole and Mark Anthony-Turnage, Gary Carpenter, Phillip Cashian, Christopher Austin and Pete Churchill.