Richard Scholfield

Richard Scholfield is an award-winning Scottish saxophonist praised for his “silken” sound (The Scotsman) and thoughtful programming. He forges a deep connection with audiences through his characterful playing and careful presentation, drawing them into the world of the saxophone as he explores both its storied past and bright future.

“An added bonus was the wholly articulate and informative way Richard Scholfield explained the theme of the concert and each work, including a bit of social history for good measure. There’s surely an alternative career in broadcasting awaiting such a poised presenter.”

-Martin Roche, reviewing Scholfield-Clarke Duo Recital at Westbourne Music, May 2023

Richard is passionate about chamber music, performing regularly in his Tunnell Trust award-winning duo with pianist Iain Clarke. He frequently takes part in other chamber projects too, such as the newly established trio Triskelion (with clarinettist Cathal Killeen and accordionist Valerie Barr), Campus Trio (Live Music Now Scotland artists), and performances in collaboration with the Resol String Quartet. Richard is also a 2020 City Music Foundation Artist.

Alongside his desire to showcase the saxophone’s diverse and often underappreciated repertoire, Richard is a prolific arranger and transcriber. He delights in the process of re-interpreting and experimenting with historical works through the lens of his distinctly modern instrument, and is always on the lookout for music that might fit into his solo repertoire or suit one of his many chamber projects. As well as solo and duo transcriptions from composers such as J.S. Bach, Frédéric Chopin, Amy Beach and Olivier Messiaen, he has created many original arrangements for all sizes of chamber ensemble – from duos for the Scholfield-Kileen Duo (clarinet and saxophone), through trios for Triskelion and the Campus Trio, to saxophone quartet pieces and quintets in partnership with the Resol String Quartet.

Richard earned first prize in the 2023 Croydon Concerto Competition, as well as gaining second prize in the 2022 Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition at Mayfield Festival. He has performed concerti with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra and the Kelvin Ensemble. Richard has also performed in concert with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of Scottish Opera and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland.

In 2019, Richard attended the London Sinfonietta Academy and the European University of Saxophone, receiving guidance from some of the finest saxophonists in Europe. During his undergraduate and masters studies, he also made frequent trips to the Conservatorium van Amsterdam for solo lessons and chamber music coaching with Arno Bornkamp and Willem van Merwijk, as well as to attend events such as the SAX18 festival.

Richard gained a Master of Arts degree in saxophone performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2019 under Josef Pacewicz and visiting professor Arno Bornkamp. During his studies he was awarded the Governors’ Recital Prize for Woodwind, as well as being awarded twice the Governors’ Recital Prize for Chamber Music. He attained first prize at the 2018 RCS Woodwind Concerto Competition, giving him the opportunity to perform Edward Gregson’s saxophone concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Perth Concert Hall.

Richard plays a Selmer Series II Alto Saxophone with a Selmer Supreme neck, and a Selmer Mark VI Soprano Saxophone (with Lagan Wrist Saver). He plays on a Selmer S90 180 alto mouthpiece, and a Selmer Concept soprano mouthpiece, using Legere Signature reeds and Silverstein ligatures.