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 based in London.
Robert has amassed an impressive list of awards and achievements, including Distinction in the 2021 Tunbridge Wells International Competition, 1st prize in the RCM Jane Melber prize, 2nd prize in the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year, as well as winning the inaugural Flax Trust Music Award in 2017.
Passionate about new music, Robert works closely with composers from around the world in the production of new works. His most recent projects include ‘A Modern View of Ancient Ireland’ for Solo Saxophone and Electronics and ‘Paris Chapters’ for Saxophone, Voice and Piano based on Irish writers in Paris. These original projects have been performed at venues and festivals in Ireland, the UK, France and Croatia.
Robert is an avid soloist and chamber musician performing at festivals across Europe, including the Bloomsbury Festival, UK, Festival de Lussan, France, Creative Connexions Festival Sitges, Spain and the RCM Chamber Music Festival, UK.
Alongside festivals, Robert has performed at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ulster Hall, Belfast, Guildhall, Derry, Rudolf Steiner Hall, Royal Over-Seas League Princess Alexandra Hall, Milton Court Concert Hall, and the Irish Embassy, London.
In addition to solo performances, Robert has performed with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Britten and Shostakovich Festival Orchestra, RCM Symphony, Philharmonic and Jazz Orchestras.
In 2021, Robert completed the Master of Performance degree, with Distinction, at the Royal College of Music, London, where he studied with Kyle Horch and was a Dr Michael West Scholar. He gained 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 his Final Year Performance.
Robert is a passionate teacher and educator, experienced and dedicated to outreach. He is a member of the teaching staff of Hackney Music Development Trust and Music Education Islington and has presented talks at TU Dublin Conservatoire.
Upcoming collaborations include recording an EP with harpist Tara Viscardi which explores the folk music of the UK and Ireland in different contexts and a recording project with pianist Tia Ling, exploring the unpublished works of the French female composer Fernande Decruck.
In 2018, Robert became the first saxophonist to become a Yanagisawa saxophone and Vandoren reed endorsee from the Republic of Ireland.