Twice GRAMMY-nominated Amy Dickson made history by becoming the first saxophonist and the first Australian to win a Classic Brit Award, as 2013 MasterCard Breakthrough Artist of the Year. In January 2016 Amy Dickson was named Young Australian of the Year in the UK. Recognised widely for her remarkable, distinctive tone and exceptional musicality, Gramophone has described her as “a player with a difference who has an individual and unusual tone, luscious, silky-smooth, sultry and voluptuous by turns; her phrasing is beautifully finished, her control of dynamic infinitely subtle.”
As an internationally regarded soloist Amy performs throughout the world with many of the great orchestras and in recent seasons has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Konzerthaus, Vienna. As a highly sought-after chamber musician she has performed in prestigious series, in venues including the Berliner Philharmonie, the Wigmore Hall, and at the Enescu Festival. As proud ambassador of Australian culture she has performed for heads of state at the Scottish and Australian Parliaments; in various Australian Embassies, High Commissions and Government Houses; at St James’ Palace, London; and at diplomatic meetings including the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings in Malta (2005) and Perth (2011).
As a Sony Classical recording artist Amy Dickson has released seven albums on the label showcasing a diverse repertoire highlighting the versatility of her musicianship and the varied capabilities of the saxophone. Her third album Dusk Till Dawn won her a Brit award, the coveted No. 1 position in the UK Classical Album Charts and was nominated for a GRAMMY award as was the following album A Summer Place . Her most recent albums are Glass featuring music by Philip Glass and Island Songs featuring works by contemporary Australian composers.
Amy’s repertoire is strongly influenced by her passion for new music. She is deeply committed to the development of new repertoire for the saxophone and has made a substantial contribution to the concerto, chamber and solo repertoire. She has premiered new works for saxophone and orchestra or chamber ensemble and is a regular collaborator with today’s leading composers including James MacMillian Brett Dean, Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards, Huw Watkins, Steve Martland, Graham Fitkin and Graham Koehne. She has formed a particularly close musical relationship with Ross Edwards and their collaboration has led to the creation of several important works for the saxophone.
Whilst proving to be a brilliant interpreter of contemporary music, she is equally devoted as a champion of established saxophone repertoire, regularly performing the concerti of Glazunov, Debussy, Villa-Lobos, Ibert, Larsson, Dubois and Milhaud, as well as those of Turnage, Higdon, Adams, Birtwistle, Williams, Glass, Sculthorpe, Torke and Kancheli.
Now based in London, Amy Dickson was born in Sydney, Australia and began musical studies at the age of two, taking her first saxophone lesson aged six. She made her concerto debut at 16, and on her 18th birthday made her first recording as soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. That year she moved to London to study at the Royal College of Music, and then at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. She was recipient of the James Fairfax Australian Young Artist of the Year award, and has won a string of major competitions including the Gold Medal at the Royal Overseas League Competition, the Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year Competition and the Prince’s Prize. No saxophonist had ever won any of these titles before.
Amy is honoured and delighted to be affiliated with the Australian Childrens’ Music Foundation in Australia, and Children & The Arts in the United Kingdom and has recently launched a new breathing awareness campaign, ‘Take a Breath’.