John Butcher


Born in 1954 in Brighton, John Butcher is an English tenor saxophonist who has lived in London since the late 1970's. The musical work of the former theoretical physicist includes improvisations, original compositions, multi-track saxophone recordings and explorations with feedback and extreme acoustics. He is well known internationally as a solo performer who attempts to explore the acoustics of unusual locations. Butcher has collaborated with many musicians, including Derek Bailey, John Stevens, Gerry Hemingway, Gino Robair, Rhodri Davies, John Edwards, Toshimaru Nakamura, Paul Lovens, Eddie Prevost, John Russell, Mark Sanders and Christian Marclay. He has released various solo albums and has toured Europe, Japan, North America and Australia. He appeared as a solo artist on the BBC programme Date with an Artist. Butcher plays with the trumpet player Peter Evans in the Anemone Quinte and with Axel Dörner and Xavier Charles in The Contest of Pleasures. Recently he also formed a trio with Gino Robair and John Edwards. In 2011 Butcher received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists. His compositions include pieces for the Austrian group Polwechsel, the Australian Elision, and the Rova and Quasar Saxophone Quartets. Two larger scale commissions premiered at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival - somethingtobesaid (2008) for the John Butcher Group and Isola (2012) for Cranes & Freighters. Butcher has given many workshops, seminars and masterclasses on improvisation and the saxophone.