Paul Brodie, born April 10, 1934, in Montreal, Quebec, was a highly respected Canadian saxophonist, educator, and advocate for the saxophone as a legitimate instrument in classical music. His passion and commitment to the instrument earned him the title of “Ambassador of the Saxophone,” and he played a pivotal role in establishing the saxophone as a mainstay in both the classical and contemporary music scenes.
Brodie’s musical journey began when he was 13 years old, after hearing a recording of Marcel Mule, the pioneering French classical saxophonist. Inspired by Mule’s virtuosity, Brodie decided to pursue the saxophone as his primary instrument. He later studied with Mule in Paris, after which he continued his education at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal and the Manhattan School of Music in New York.
Brodie’s career as a performer took off in the late 1950s when he began playing as a soloist with various Canadian orchestras. His skill and artistry soon gained international recognition, and he went on to perform as a soloist in over 3,000 concerts in more than 20 countries. Throughout his career, Brodie premiered over 60 compositions specifically written for him by various composers, further expanding the saxophone’s repertoire in classical music.
In addition to his performance career, Brodie was a dedicated educator. He taught at the University of Toronto, the Royal Conservatory of Music, and York University. His commitment to education led him to create the World Saxophone Congress, an international event that brought together saxophonists and enthusiasts from around the world to share their passion for the instrument.
Brodie’s influence extended beyond his performances and teaching. He founded the Paul Brodie Saxophone Quartet and produced numerous recordings, including the album “Music Minus One,” which provided budding saxophonists with an opportunity to play along with a professional ensemble. He also authored several books on saxophone technique and pedagogy, further solidifying his status as a leader in the world of saxophone education.
Paul Brodie passed away on November 19, 2007, at the age of 73. His tireless advocacy for the saxophone and his contributions as a performer, teacher, and mentor left a lasting impact on the global saxophone community. His dedication to the instrument and the musicians who play it continues to inspire generations of saxophonists and music enthusiasts alike.
Last updated 3/18/2023.