Martin Robertson

Key details:

Music | Jazz
Jazz Instrumental Tutor


Martin studied saxophone and clarinet at the Royal College of Music under Stephen Trier and John McCaw. 

Recognised as a soloist of international stature, Martin’s career highlights have included performing with the Berlin, Los Angeles and London Philharmonic orchestras as well as working with internationally prominent conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Andrew Davis and Vladimir Jurowski.

Martin made his solo debut at the Purcell Room in 1986 with Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Sarabande. From here a close relationship between the two developed and Turnage wrote Your Rockaby specifically for Martin. It premiered at the Royal Festival Hall with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and was later performed at the Royal Albert Hall during the Proms. 

Though Martin immerses himself in contemporary music, he continues to play the full range of classical repertoire from Villa-Lobos to Frank Martin to Glasunov. He is a regular guest of the major London orchestras both as a freelance musician and as a soloist. During the 2002 Proms Martin was clarinet soloist at the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Big Band, and featured soloist with the London Philharmonic in Bernard Herrmann’s Taxi Driver Suite, given as part of the Meltdown Festival. In 2007 Martin performed Debussy’s Rhapsody for Saxophone with the London Philharmonic under Vladimir Jurowski, was a featured soloist for the premiere of Turnage’s About Water at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and appeared at the Proms with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performing Sir Harrison Birtwistle's Panic. The Delta Saxophone Quartet invited Martin to join them in 2009. This lead to a string of performances throughout Europe, including an open air performance in the Dolomites. 

In 2010 Martin performed a suite of music based around the theme from Poirot by Christopher Gunning with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. That year he recorded Poirot Variants with the BBC Philharmonic, released on the Chandos label. In 2011 Martin featured in the premiere of Anna Nicole the Opera at the Royal Opera House, a collaboration between Turnage and Richard Thomas, co-author of Jerry Springer the Musical. 

Away from the concert platform Martin is frequently featured on film and TV soundtracks. Not only is he in demand as a saxophonist and clarinettist but can also be heard on ethnic woodwind instruments such as the taragato and duduk. Martin featured on the duduk as guest soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on David Attenborough’s feature length film Earth. Martin’s film and television credits include Shakespeare in Love, Billy Elliot, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, King Arthur, Kingdom of Heaven, Bleak House, Hotel Babylon, Mrs. Brown, Planet Earth and Life. Martin returned to the Royal College of Music in 1994 as a Professor of Saxophone.

In 2012 he was appointed Professor of Saxophone at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.