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Alex Paxton

Professorial Staff - Composition


King Charles Court Old Royal Naval College Greenwich London SE10 9JF UK

Headshot of Alex Paxton


In 2021 Alex was awarded an Ivor Novello Composer award for his piece Sometimes Voices. He has been nominated for the Gaudeamus Award for 2022 and was elected to the 9th International Composition Seminar and awarded a commission ilolli-pop for Improviser and Ensemble which he played with Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt, Germany).

He has been awarded by the London Sinfonietta’s Writing the Future commission  and has won the RPS Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition for BYE and was made a London Symphony Orchestra Panufnik Composer.

Alex played and recorded his concerto OD ODY PINk’d for Jazz Musician and Royal National Scottish Orchestra (RSNO). He was a Leverhume Art Scholar with the London Philharmonic Orchestra 2016-2017: NOW WE ARE DUH-DUR and has been awarded the Harriet Cohen Memorial Music Award for his compositions. His piece SPAKE represented the UK in the Orchestral section of the International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM). He is a commissioned contributor to John Zorn’s Arcana X 2021.

“Paxton is a system-crasher of genre, who merges jamming video game soundtracks, musical overtures, virtuoso chamber music and jazz improv into an unmistakable style…highly complex, sophisticated and extremely entertaining, virtuoso ad absurdum,” Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik.

His albums to date as a composer: MUSIC for BOSCH PEOPLE released to critical acclaim on Birmingham Record Company/ NMC label. He has featured compositions on the Non-Classical label (Corncrack Dreams) Listen Pony Label (TELLSONG), Indigne de nous on Everest Records and leading Spotify playlists. HAPPY MUSIC for ORCHESTRA (2022) will be released on Delphian Label in 2022. “This is the most joyous sound I’ve heard in ages!” New York Times.

His music has been played/recorded/ commissioned by leading orchestras and ensembles including Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), Philharmonia Orchestra, AskSchöenberg, Riot Ensemble, Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain, Wigmore hall, Explore Ensemble, Klammer Klang, Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), National Youth Orchestra (BBC proms 2021), Making Music (UK), Ensemble x.y, x.y Song, Hyper Duo, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO), National Youth Jazz Orchestra (UK) NYJO, Listen-Pony, Aldeburgh Festival, Psappha Ensemble, Orion Symphony Orchestra OSO, Helios Collective, Chaos Collective Orchestra, Mirrors of Hall Big Band, Dr. K Sextet, 5KBrass Quintet, RAM Philharmonic and RCM Philharmonic and soloists Zubin Kanger, Tabea Debus, Beibei Wang, Patrick Terry, David Zucchi & Jacob Collier. “This is what an orchestra can be like in the 21st century: an ensemble that speaks with one voice yet also gives voice to each of its members,” The Times.

He has written six operas including NOGGIN and the WHALE (massed forces including 500 young instrumentalists and singers), FOR the LOVE of THORNSTIEN SHIVER hosted by English National Opera and Helios Collective, BEL and the DRAGON as part of the Tête à Tête opera festival, The Equivocal Harriet Bowdler at Second Movement Opera and WOOLF MUSIC at the Forge in Camden and RAVEN’s CHILD for Jacob Colier and Orchestra.

“Operatic Game Boy music played by a virtuosic motley crew that’s inexplicably been hired to provide live jingles for a primetime TV show sometime in the recent past that never quite was,” Point of departure.

As an improvising and jazz trombonist Alex has played as a soloist with Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) & ensemble x.y. He has made over 100 recordings as a soloist, with Dreammusics ensmeble and performs regularly with pionieering improvisers (including Charlotte Keeffe and Steve Noble), as well playing in groups such as London Improvisers Orchestra LIO, Hyperion Ensemble (UK), Apocalypse Jazz Unit, Laura Jurd.

Extensively, Alex writes art-music for musicians in community settings including, innovative ways of writing for young instrumentalists & singers in a post-Roald Dahl world of new-music.  eg: NOGGIN and the WHALE (massed forces including 500 young instrumentalists and singers), Fly Like a Kitchen, Muffin, Pudding Tummy and The Sound of Magic. He is lead composition tutor (and workshop leader) on the National Youth Orchestra GB, professorial composition staff at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and has taught/ lectured in composition and improvisation at conservatories including, RAM, GSMD & RCM. Alex is a leading workshop-leader and freelance-consultant on classroom-music delivery and CPD in UK schools. “One of the most exceptional voices from a new generation of UK talent,” The Philharmonia Orchestra.

Alex studied as a scholar at Royal Academy of Music (BMushons1stclass)and LRAM (Distinction) and the Royal College of Music (MComp Distinction).