Matthew Styles brings sax appeal to WASO concert Ravel’s Bolero and Two Pianos


Saxophonist Matthew Styles. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d481858
Saxophonist Matthew Styles. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d481858

THE saxophone may not be a permanent orchestra instrument but WAAPA lecturer Matthew Styles still gets the request to perform with WASO anywhere between five to 10 times a year.

“It’s an instrument that does get around, even though it’s not usually a full-time part of it,” Styles said.

“There’s actually a lot of repertoire that’s written for the saxophone that adds something quite unique and special to the music.”

The latest call up for Styles is for WASO concerts Ravel’s Bolero and Two Pianos at Perth Concert Hall on May 11 and 12, where he will play soprano saxophone in Bolero with saxophonist colleague Erin Royer and tenor saxophone in Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kije Suite.

French composer Maurice Ravel’s most famous work Bolero is known to many from Torvill and Dean’s gold-winning performance at the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Bolero is one of those pieces that has the most amazing ability to build from nothing to everything,” Styles said.

“You’re taken on a 12 minute journey where everything starts so quietly, like the dawn of a day, and by the end of the piece you are raging at night.

“It’s enormous and despite the repetition to it, the way Ravel has written it, it never gets uninteresting. There’s always something else that comes and even though it’s material that’s really familiar, he makes it exciting with the idea of ‘But wait, there’s more’.”

Style first performed with WASO more than 25 years ago between teaching at WAAPA, UWA and at universities in the UK.

His musical journey began with learning the flute while on a music scholarship at Perth Modern, but his attention started to waver when he heard his eldest brother play the saxophone.

“There was something about the sound that I felt was more appealing to more people and more styles of music,” Styles said.

“It was an instrument that grabbed me and was so endearing; it’s like the every people instrument.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Ravel’s Bolero and Two Pianos

Where: Perth Concert Hall

When: May 11 and 12

Tickets: www.waso.com.au