Katia Beaugeais is an award-winning French-Australian composer and saxophonist based in Sydney. She is a Vandoren Paris and Selmer Saxophone Artist. With an innovative and unique repertoire ranging from solo saxophone to full orchestra, Beaugeais’s music has been performed in America, Canada, Croatia, Slovakia, Austria, Scotland, Ireland, England, France, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.
Beaugeais is currently working on a PhD in Composition analysing the dual role of a composer-performer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and an ABC Classic FM podcast saxophone recording featuring Beaugeais as soloist-composer performing her own music, as well as new works by other Australian composers. Recent highlights include her new piece, Like Snowdrops You Will Shine, for the Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective/Hush Foundation CD, guest soloist and composer at the International World Sax Congress in Croatia, where her solo and saxophone orchestra music for 30 saxophones was premiered, guest soloist-composer with 100 saxophones for Melbourne Sax, guest lecturer in the composition and saxophone departments at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, where the RNCM saxophone students played her saxophone music, and her music featured at London’s prestigious Royal College of Music saxophone orchestra Annual Gala Concert, conducted by Professor Kyle Horch.
In February 2018, the Royal Australian Navy Band and world-renowned didjeridu player, William Barton, recorded First Light at Uluru for their 2018 CD celebrating Australian spirit. This new wind symphony version was premiered by renowned conductor, Dr John Lynch and the Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony at the Australian National Band & Orchestra Conference (ANBOC), followed by the Adelaide Wind Orchestra and Texas Woman’s University Wind Symphony. Beaugeais teaches composition and chamber ensembles at the Sydney Conservatorium.
In 2015, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra played Beaugeais’ Manifesto pour la Paix in a composer workshop – a significant piece dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attacks and the victims of the Syrian war. First Light at Uluru for saxophone orchestra received world premiere performances by the QLD Conservatorium saxophone orchestra at the XVII World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, the Selmer Saxophone Showrooms in Paris, and in a joint concert with the Royal Northern College of Music Saxophone Orchestra in England. Beaugeais also gave a lecture on her research about gesture in reference to her new saxophone concerto, Terra Obscura at Cité de la Musique et de la Danse, Strasbourg Conservatoire. She was invited to join a panel of esteemed composers and performers, including the legendary Jean-Marie Londeix, to discuss the future of new saxophone music. The Sydney premiere of First Light at Uluru was performed by the Sydney Conservatorium Saxophone Orchestra, as part of the 2015 Conservatorium Centenary.
In 2014, Beaugeais composed a new saxophone concerto, Terra Obscura for solo saxophone and chamber orchestra, as part of the Sydney Conservatorium Centenary Commissioning Project. She performed it herself on soprano and alto saxophone with the Sydney Conservatorium Modern Music Ensemble and it was broadcast on ABC Classic FM.
Beaugeais has performed solo recitals featuring her own compositions at the Selmer Saxophone Showrooms in Paris, World Saxophone Congress in Scotland, and her music has been featured at the 2011 and 2013 Zagreb Biennale events in Croatia. She has performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as a casual player and in a number of solo recitals featuring her own compositions at international new music festivals, and on ABC Classic FM & 2MBS-FM.
In 2010 Beaugeais won the prestigious 2010 ISCM/IAMIC International Society for Contemporary Music Young Composer Award for her soprano saxophone piece, Sound Box, which was broadcast live on ABC Classic FM during the 2010 ISCM World New Music Days festival. As one of 80 works selected from more than 700 from 52 countries, her composition was voted best piece out of the 43 selected entries from artists aged under 35. The international judging panel from USA, Sweden, Korea, Venezuela and Belgium commented: “Sound Box demonstrates an imaginative and idiomatic use of the soprano saxophone. The musical landscape of the piece transcends the limitations of the instrument, and her technical expertise bodes well for future works.”
She was guest composer at the 2011 ISCM World New Music Days festival in Zagreb, Croatia, for the world premiere of Manifesto pour la Paix for winds, strings, piano and saxophone by Ensemble Zeitfluss, and was also invited to perform at a special reception for the Australian Embassy in Zagreb, where she premiered Sounds from Bondi for soprano saxophone, which she specially composed for this occasion.
Other composition highlights include: winning the 2007 2MBS FM Fellowship of Australian Composer’s Encouragement Award for Aurora Australis, her first orchestral piece which she later transformed into a saxophone concerto; two chamber works premiered by the Sydney Symphony Fellowship players; Drifting Memories for saxophone quartet, and especially arranged for 13 saxophones for a performance by the Sydney Conservatorium Saxophone Orchestra; By the Water for voice and nature sounds (now the featured music for an audio walking tour) premiered by Halcyon at the 2012 Cabarita Park Twilight Festival and hosted by the Mayor Angelo Tsirekas of City of Canada Bay Council; featured composer on 2-hour New Music program on ABC Classic FM; and Beaugeais’s 22 min. Song Cycle Afternoon at the Orangerie for soprano voice, viola & piano premiered by the Grevillea Ensemble with guest artist, Yvette Goodchild from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.