Dr Emma Di Marco is a classical saxophonist hailing from Brisbane, Australia and a rising star in the Australian classical saxophone community. Praised for her musicality and innovative repetoire, she has gone from strength to strength since graduating from a Bachelor of Music in Advanced Performance (First Class Honours) at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in 2011. More recently, she was awarded her PhD in Musicology at the age of 25. Other credits to her name include the presentation of awards including an A.Mus.A qualification at the age of 15 and an L.Mus.A qualification at the age of 17 from the Australian Music Examinations Board. Emma maintains a fulfilling portfolio career as a saxophonist, chamber musician, educator, adjudicator, artistic director, and events manager. She is also a D'Addario Woodwind Artist and proud advocate for Rico Reeds and Accessories. In 2017, Emma was awarded a Churchill Fellowship.
Emma balances an active performance schedule both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. She has performed recitals in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, and Melbourne domestically as well as in the UK and France. Comprising a vast repertory, Emma is as comfortable performing the classics as she is conducting a world premiere. She engages regularly with Australian composers in the development of new Australian solo classical saxophone repertoire, particularly with fellow young composers to support the next generation of Australian classical music. Her passion for the soprano saxophone has seen a string of new compositions created under her project: "The Solo Soprano” which saw four new works premiered at the Australasian Saxophone and Clarinet Conference in 2013.
Emma has become a regular on the industry conference scene with performances at the Australasian Saxophone and Clarinet Conference (Sydney, Australia, 2013); XVI and XVII World Saxophone Congresses (St Andrews, Scotland, 2012 and Strasbourg, France, 2015); Crossbows Festival for Small Ensembles (Brisbane, 2012); and the Australian Clarinet and Saxophone Festival (Melbourne, Australia, 2011). These performances have showcased Emma's versatility as a musician through performances such as "The Solo Soprano" (ASCC 2013) and "A Slice of Queensland" (WSCXVI 2012). Most recently, Emma was featured at 'SaxOpen' the XVII World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, France where she presented two solo recitals of new Australian music for the saxophone. She has completed two solo domestic tours of Australia: 'Shimmer' in 2016 and 'East Coast Tour' in 2014 with performances in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, and Hobart and featured collaborations with Australian artists Nexas Quartet, Nathan Henshaw, Barega Saxophone Quartet, Anthony Voloutis, and Ben Price.
Emma is a founding member of acclaimed ensemble the Barega Saxophone Quartet and has performed across Australia and Europe with the quartet. Barega's debut album 'Three Serpents' was released in 2015 and is a resounding success; their follow up album, 'Abandon Control' is due to be released in 2018. The ensemble has garnered an international reputation for excellence in Australian music following a performance at the XVI World Saxophone Congress in Scotland in July, 2012. Her involvement with Barega has seen the creation of over a dozen new works for saxophone quartet, multiple tours both interstate in Australia and to Europe, as well as collaborations with Trichotomy, The Argot Project, Lyre Duo, and a range of visual artists. Barega's educational output includes workshops and masterclasses across the greater Brisbane region. In 2016, the Barega Saxophone Quartet collaborated with Hourglass Ensemble resulting in a well-received performance at the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House. The ensemble recently performed as featured soloists with the Queensland Wind Orchestra in December 2016; performing David Maslanka's Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Orchestra at the Old Museum Building in Brisbane, Australia.
Emma is also a casual saxophonist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, beginning with her appointment in May 2013 to play the Alto Saxophone solo in Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin's masterpiece Wild Swans Suite under the baton of Benjamin Northey. Since then since has presented works by Gershwin, Bernstein, Mussorgsky, and Ravel with the QSO. Her performances as a concerto soloist include performing Claude T. Smith's Fantastisa for Alto Saxophone and Band with the Queensland Conservatorium Wind Symphony in 2011 and a performance of Alexander Glazunov's Concerto in E flat for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra with the Mueller International Chamber Orchestra in 2010 which received a standing ovation. As a chamber musician, Emma has performed at the leading Brisbane event "Paint it Red" at the Juggler's Art Space which is a meeting of music and visual art regularly attended by a loyal audience following.
Passionate about her work in education, Emma is sessional lecturer in saxophone at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. Further to this, she is a Woodwind Instructor at 'Grace Academy', the exceptional arts program of Grace Lutheran College in Brisbane. She has previously held positions as a saxophone specialist at prestigious Brisbane schools including Somerville House, Clayfield College, Cannon Hill Anglican College, and music specialist centre, Vivo College of Music. Emma's students have gone on to the undergraduate program at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music; positions in the Queensland Youth Orchestras and the Young Conservatorium Ensembles (Griffith University), and extremely successful performances at Brisbane based competitions.
Emma is the artistic director of Brisbane based concert series “Saxophone on Sundays” which debuted in 2012 and was the first series in Brisbane to exclusively feature classical saxophone repertoire. Furthermore, she is actively involved in music-making of her city, as a committee member of the Queensland Clarinet and Saxophone Society and secretary for the Musicological Society of Australia Queensland Chapter. Emma has also organised numerous industry events including Student Concerts, Workshops, and in 2013 & 2014 she directed the inaugural 'Super Saxophone Day' which was a major success for the Society. In 2017, she co-ordinated the Queensland Clarinet & Saxophone Annual Competition.
Emma has studied primarily with Barry Bobart at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. As a student at the Universite Europeene de Saxophone in 2010 and 2011, Emma has also studied with Claude Delangle, Arno Bornkamp, Vincent David, Damien Royanais, Masataka Hirano, Christian Wirth, Phillip Braquart, Lars Mlekuesch, the Diastema Saxophone Quartet, and the Habanera Saxophone Quartet.
Emma is an accomplished researcher in the classical saxophone field. Her research has examined the performance of classical saxophone music in Australia with the aim of fostering further development and growth through increased engagement with digital music-making practices and higher job satisfaction of performers. Her current research interests include: Classical Saxophone Music, Australian Music, Performance Practice, Performance Careers, Ethnography, Digital Music-Making, National Identity, and Job Satisfaction. Emma has presented at academic conferences in Brisbane, Sydney, and Perth with a wide range of papers and lecture-recitals. These includes presentations at the MSA-NZMS 2013 and 2015 Conferences, the IMC 5th World Forum on Music, the IASPM-ANZ 2013 Conference, as well as the Australasian Saxophone and Clarinet Conference. In 2017, Black Swan Press released the eBook 'The Rites of Spring' of which Emma was a contributing author. She also has a selection of peer-reviewed and industry articles published. Emma has previously held the position of editor of the Australian Clarinet and Saxophone Magazine which is the leading industry publication of it's kind in Australia.
Please visit www.emmadimarco.com/CV for more information regarding Emma’s work including past performance, ensemble, and teaching experience.
Photographer: Angela Ferro