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Mark Hobson

Performer, Commissioner

Born: 1970


Mark began his musical career under the watchful eye of his mother Noeline, who was his first music teacher. After deciding that the violin was not his instrument, Mark concentrated on the clarinet, which he studied under the very inspirational Chris Walker. He also credits his high school music teacher Richard Marrett with instilling high standards and a passion for music. At Rangiora High School he also took up the saxophone soon after he saw Mark Walton perform, which sparked his interest for classical saxophone. He moved swiftly into both the teaching and performing sides of the Christchurch music scene and has continued to teach and perform in both classical and jazz genres since the late 1980’s.

On top of his work as a soloist Mark regularly works with his wife Sophie Buxton on viola and Alison C. Holden on piano in the TUI TRIO who are working towards presenting a programme of three new works by prominent New Zealand composers at the 16th World Saxophone Congress in Saint Andrews Scotland 2012. He has made a practice of promoting and commissioning new works for his instruments. As a result he has performed works written for him by a variety of New Zealand composers, such as Gao Ping, Philip Norman, Anthony Ritchie, Tony Ryan and Eric Biddington including concertos for soprano saxophone and orchestra, sonatas, saxophone quartets and works for saxophone and string quartet.

Other ensembles that Mark is involved in include the Hoekstra/Kime/Hobson Trio with Wytze Hoekstra on piano and Michael Kime on double bass. Their ensemble specialises in exploring the unique sound of Euro Jazz. And Tango La Luna with him on clarinet and cajon (box drum),Wytze Hoekstra on bandoneon, Sophie Buxton on viola, Chris Reddington on piano, Nicole Reddington on cello and Gerald Oliver on Double Bass who play regularly for the Christchurch Tango dance community as well as concerts and gigs. With a number of Christchurch’s wind musicians he also has an ensemble called Aeolus, which performs mostly as a saxophone quartet with him on soprano saxophone.

Mark has performed in the last three Australasian Single Reed Conventions in Australia and two World Saxophone Congresses in Slovenia in 2006 and Thailand in 2009. Mark enjoys presenting New Zealand music as a soloist and with Aeolus and often includes New Zealand works in his recitals. Highlights at these events have been Philip Norman’s Murphy’s Law and a mixed media presentation called Musica Nimbus with visual artist Martin Mears.

A regular feature in Mark’s calendar is the Mark Hobson and Friends concerts, which have been held annually in the Great Hall at The Arts Centre of Christchurch since 1991, and more recently also a Picnic Concert in the summer.

Since 2009 Mark has taken up the position as Artistic Director of the iconic lunchtime series at the Great Hall in the Christchurch Arts Centre. Mark and Sophie also run a business called Creative Music, which provides musical solution for all occasions, connecting clients wanting live music with musicians suitable for all events.

Commissioned (3)

A Short Suite

for saxophone quartet, 10m

Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra

for soprano saxophone and orchestra, 17m

Murphy's Law

for soprano saxophone and piano, 11m