Listen and learn: Manu Brazo


In the 18th of a series of articles, David Bird discusses the work of Redbridge Music Society and introduces us to Spanish saxophonist Manu Brazo, who will be performing at Wanstead Library this month.

The current aims of Redbridge Music Society are to promote and support talented young musicians in the early years of their careers and to provide a diverse range of musical genres to the Redbridge public. This month, outstanding young saxophonist Manu Brazo, together with award-winning piano accompanist Bryan Evans MBE, will perform music by Vaughan Williams, Verdi (Traviata Fantasy), de Falla, Gershwin and others.

Twenty-six-year-old Manu Brazo was born in Utrera (Seville). After completing his undergraduate studies under Juan Jimenez at the Manuel Castillo Conservatory of Music in Seville, he continued his studies at London’s Royal College of Music (RCM) for a Masters in Performance degree. He made his concerto debut in the UK with the Guildford Symphony Orchestra in 2016, playing the Glazunov Saxophone Concerto, and since then has performed with a number of orchestras, including the London City Orchestra.

Manu has won many awards and prizes, including the 2016 Manuel Castillo Conservatory Concerto Competition. He was invited to join the London Sinfonietta Academy and to collaborate with the Youth Musician Symphony Orchestra (YMSO). In 2018 he was selected to take part in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, which saw him perform at the Snape Maltings Proms conducted by Marin Alsop. He was chosen for the Tillett Trust Young Artists Platform for 2018/19 and is currently a Philip and Dorothy Green 2019/20 Young Artists Award holder – an award given by Making Music to celebrate the best of the UK’s young musical talent.

Manu has performed at notable venues in the UK, including the Royal Opera House, and has played in Norway, Greece, Spain and Indonesia. He recently performed with Bryan Evans as the opening act for Sir Cliff Richard at the Greenwich Music Time Festival. He also opened at the official Downton Abbey live concert at Highclere Castle.

Accompanist Bryan Evans studied at RCM and whilst there won all the accompanist prizes. He has performed at major UK venues, including London’s Wigmore Hall, and in many countries across the world. He has performed on BBC Radio 3 and TV and is a leading exponent of performing chamber opera from the piano and is currently music director of Diva Opera. In 1993 he was awarded an MBE for his services to music.

The partnership of two such outstanding musicians promises to make Redbridge Music Society’s opening recital of its 2019/20 season a very memorable event.

Manu and Bryan will perform at Wanstead Library on 29 October from 8pm (tickets on the door: £10; members: £7). For more information, call 07380 606 767. Redbridge Music Society is supported by Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure and is affiliated to Making Music.