World Premiere at Southwell

(July 20, 2011)



 A haunting collaboration of saxophone, soprano voice, church organ and percussion

“music with a heart-rending simplicity..very beautiful, very different”  Sean Rafferty, BBC Radio 3

Saxophones: Christian Forshaw

Soprano Voice: Grace Davidson (The Sixteen, Tenebrae, Eric Whitacre)

Church Organ: Alexander Mason (First Prize and Variation prize, Grand Prix d’Improvisation; Prix André Marchal, Biarritz, 2001; Organist & Master of Choristers, St David's Cathedral)

Percussion: Rob Farrer (Divine Comedy, Royal Opera House, Joby Talbot

with the Equinox Saxophone Ensemble

After a hugely successful performance in Southwell in 2007, Christian returns with his quartet of musicians and a programme including works to be released on a new CD next year. Nottingham’s Equinox Saxophone Ensemble make a special appearance in the World Premiere of a new piece featuring the awesome sound of multiple saxophones placed around the Minster, interweaving with the sublime vocals of Grace Davidson - a member of The Sixteen and recently the featured soloist in BBC TV’s ‘Sacred Music’ series.

Forshaw’s albums have topped the classical charts in both the UK and internationally, in addition to regular airplay on BBC1 TV, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM.

Friday 2nd September, Southwell Minster, 7.30pm

Church Street, Southwell, Notts NG25 0HD

Also featuring WORLD PREMIERE by Forshaw with Equinox Saxophone Ensemble

Tickets: £15 / £12 concessions

Box Office: Minster Shop 01636 812933

Tickets are also available online

Christian and Forshaw and the Sanctuary Ensemble


The Sanctuary Project is a unique collaboration of saxophone, organ, voice and percussion established by Christian Forshaw in 1996. The music takes it's inspiration from church music with original works by Forshaw alongside his arrangements of traditional hymns. The debut album entitled Sanctuary was released in 2004 on independent label Quartz and reached a worldwide audience.


Spellbinding, haunting and honest are just a few of the words used by audiences to describe the warmth and serenity of Christian Forshaw’s performances.   As a composer, arranger and performer Christian takes his music to the pinnacle of sensitivity and simplicity making a huge emotional impact on his listeners.  


Forshaw has recorded three albums with the Sanctuary ensemble; Sanctuary QTZ2009 (2004), Renouncement ING1001 (2007) and Midwinter ING1003 (2008). Mortal Flesh from Sanctuary was nominated for the 2005 Classical Brits and both Sanctuary and Renouncement reached the top 5 in the Amazon Classical Charts.

In July 2009 Christian was commissioned to write and perform a piece at the unveiling of the Hyde Park memorial to the London bombing victims of July 7th, 2005. The ceremony was attended by HRH The Prince of Wales and the British Prime Minister and was broadcast internationally. Forshaw is currently working on a series of works commissioned by the Jenny Nicholson Trust in memory of a victim of the tragic London bombings which will be released next year.

 The Sanctuary Ensemble have performed throughout the UK at venues including Southwell Minster, Bristol Cathedral, St John’s College Chapel (Cambridge), St Martin-in-the-Fields (London), and the Royal Northern College of Music.


 Christian Forshaw studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with John Harle. His debut CD Sanctuary achieved no.1 positions in the classical music charts both in the UK and internationally, with tracks receiving over 200 plays on national radio. In 2007 he was offered a multi album deal with Sony BMG which he turned down in order to maintain artistic freedom and set up his own label, Integra Records.

Christian has toured worldwide at venues including Carnegie Hall and The Lincoln Centre in New York, the Royal Albert Hall and London’s Southbank and Barbican Centres with conductors including Vladamir Ashkenazy and Riccardo Muti, and with orchestras including the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He has also appeared with smaller groups including Icebreaker, the Michael Nyman Band and the Graham Fitkin Ensemble. Forshaw is currently performing in the critically acclaimed production of London Road at the National Theatre.

Christian is Professor of Saxophone at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London

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