B i o g r a p h y
Described as “One of the most exciting Irish saxophone players in a generation”, Robert Finegan is an award-winning saxophonist who recently completed the Master of Performance degree, with Distinction, in the Royal College of Music, London, where he studied with Kyle Horch and was a Dr Michael West Scholar. He obtained his Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) from TU Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama where he studied with Kevin Hanafin. There he received the McNamara Gold Medal for Excellence in Final Year Performance Exam.
Passionate about new music, Robert works closely with composers from around the world in the production of new works for all members of the saxophone family. His most recent projects commissioning projects can be found here: ‘A Modern View of Ancient Ireland’ and Paris Chapters. In summer 2021, he premiered Goi Ywei Chern’s Soprano Saxophone Concertino with the Royal College of Music’s Wind Ensemble.
Robert has amassed an impressive list of awards and achievements that include Distinction in the 2021 Tunbridge Wells International Competition, 1st prize in the RCM Jane Melber Saxophone prize, 2nd prize in the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year, becoming the first saxophonist to make it to the final, as well as winning the inaugural Flax Trust Music Award in 2017.
In summer 2018, Robert represented Ireland at the World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia playing music by contemporary Irish composers. Robert also made his London debut performing as an opening act for the 2019 Champions Tennis in the Royal Albert Hall. Other performances include Festival de Lussan, France, Bloomsbury Festival, London, Embassy of Ireland, London, Crescent Festival of Contemporary Irish Music, Wexford, Irish Cultural Centre, London and National Concert Hall, Dublin.
In addition to solo performances, Robert has performed with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Britten and Shostakovich Festival Orchestra, RCM Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras, Hibernian Orchestra, Irish Films and Pops Orchestra, as well as lead alto saxophone of the 2020/21 RCM Jazz Orchestra. He also works closely with harpist Tara Viscardi in the Finegan Viscardi duo, playing a diverse range of repertoire from traditional Irish to Baroque and contemporary music.
In 2018, Robert became the first saxophonist to become a Yanagisawa saxophone and Vandoren reed endorsee from the Republic of Ireland.