Born in Sydney in 1982, saxophonist Amy Dickson had her first lesson on the instrument when she was six years old.
Growing up with a vast array of musical influences, she made her concerto debut aged 16, playing the Dubois
Concerto with Henryk Pisarek and the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra and subsequently became a recipient of the James Fairfax Australian Young Artist of the Year award. On her 18th birthday she recorded the Dubois
Divertissement with John Harding and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra
. The following year she moved to London where she took the Jane Melber Scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music with Kyle Horch, and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Arno Bornkamp
. During this time she became the first saxophonist to win major competitions including the Gold Medal at the Royal Overseas League Competition, the Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year Competition, and the Prince’s Prize. She began honing her memorable sax stylings and between 2005 and 2011 performed at some of the world's most prestigious venues and events. As a result of her prolific work rate and following these memorable live performances, she released her debut album Smile in 2008. It was well-received and critics praised her sultry, dynamic yet subtle playing style. Eager to integrate the more classical elements of her background into her work, she released her second album Glass, Tavener, Nyman in 2009. Featuring Dickson's unique interpretations as well as arrangements of Violin Concerto No. 1 by Philip Glass
, The Protecting Veil by John Tavener
and Michael Nyman
's Where the Bee Dances, it was widely praised. Fusing contemporary classical with shades of jazz, she began steadily building up a dedicated fan base that culminated with the chart-topping 2013 album Dusk & Dawn. The album -- which included a healthy mix of classical and jazz standards -- cemented her reputation as one of the most exciting and contemporary classical stars of the 2010s. Two 2014 releases, Catch Me If You Can and A Summer Place, featured music borrowed from film scores, which is one way she expands the repertoire and creates excitement for fans of her instrument. Another is commissioning and premiering new music -- either for chamber ensemble or for saxophone and orchestra -- from such composers as Ross Edwards
, Peter Sculthorpe
, Graham Fitkin
, Steve Martland
, and Huw Watkins
. Her 2016 release, Island Songs, features some of these commissions from Australian composers.