Sophia Elger (saxophone): The Musicians’ Company Young Artists’ Programme #MusicShots

Sophia Elger (saxophone) joined the Musicians' Company Young Artists' Programme after winning our Biddy Baxter and John Hosier Music Trust Award in 2021. Here she performs with Iain Clarke (piano) the following programme: Paule Maurice (1910-67): Volio Stacy Garrop (b 1969): Fragmented Spirit Eugène Bozza (1905-1991): Fantaisie Italienne.


Sophia says:

"My name is Sophia Elger and I am currently studying my Master’s degree with professor Kyle Horch at the Royal College of Music where I am a Leverhulme Arts Scholar, an Ian Fleming Award holder, and the recipient of the Biddy Baxter and John Hosier Trust Award. I have been selected as a Young Artist of the Musicians’ Company, DEBUT Horizon, the Hattori Foundation, and Talent Unlimited. Recently, I gave a performance of Jacques Ibert’s Concertino da Camera with the RCM Symphony Orchestra after being placed Second in the RCM Concerto Competition. Other awards include First Prize in the Jane Melber Saxophone Competition and Second Prize in the Clarinet and Saxophone Society Soloist Competition.

This recital contains three pieces. I wanted to introduce myself with a solo piece entitled Volio, which translates to “fly”, by Paule Maurice. Following this, Iain and I will perform a work by Stacy Garrop. In this programmatic piece, we experience emotional turmoil contrasted with serene reflection. We close the programme with Fantaisie Italienne by Eugene Bozza. This piece opens with a cadenza, is followed by a charming dance, and ends with an exciting and vivacious Allegro.

Volio - I chose to open my programme with a sweet little piece entitled Volio, which translates as “fly”, by Paule Maurice. Paule Maurice was a French composer who studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique. Her most famous composition is the Tableaux de Provence (1948-55), her only other saxophone work. Fragmented Spirit - Stacy Garrop is an American composer whose “music is centred on dramatic and lyrical storytelling”. Her music employs many modern techniques, such as flutter tongue and the altissimo range, which she uses to convey meaning to the piece.

Fragmented Spirit was written during her Master’s studies at the University of Chicago and shortly after its composition, she wrote a poem, which she now associates with this piece. The poem reflects the uncertainty of her future.



i feel





small bits

scattered over cement

glittering specks, dark lines

i don’t know


to reassemble myself



i sound


open my jaw

i gurgle, cough, gasp

a silent, violent scream

my throat cannot


its primary function


a spirit in pieces

you see it

strewn everywhere as if on parade

you have power

you can stomp on it

smash it

or you can collect the bits

and teach my hands


to reshape my tattered spirit

into vibrance.


Fantaisie Italienne - Eugène Bozza was a French composer and violinist. His father was Italian, and between 1934 and 1950, Bozza lived at the French Academy in Rome, which occupies the Villa Medici. It was during this time that he wrote Fantaisie Italienne. This piece was originally written for clarinet and piano, but since its composition it has been transcribed for oboe, bassoon, and flute. It was the French saxophonist Marcel Mule who transcribed it for the saxophone. The piece opens with a cadenza, is followed by a charming dance, and ends with an exciting and vivacious Allegro."

Three videos recorded and edited by Sam Dye Promotional photograph by David Burden


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