Brian Utley

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Concert Saxophonist

“I have performed on Légère Signature Series saxophone reeds in solo, chamber and orchestral settings, and, put quite simply, these reeds are second to none.  No longer is there a worry about finding the “perfect reed” for a particular performance, as I can trust any Légère reed to respond with the utmost consistency at any dynamic level, in any range of the instrument, with any style of articulation necessary, and in any climate.  Légère reeds have truly changed the course of my playing from this point forward.” – Brian Utley

Brian Utley is Senior Lecturer in Saxophone at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music, where he is also the Coordinator of Chamber Music.  He received the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in saxophone performance, with a minor in music theory, from Louisiana State University.  He also holds the M.M. from L.S.U. and the B.M. from Murray State University, and his primary saxophone teachers include Griffin Campbell and Scott Erickson.  Prior to his appointment at Vanderbilt, Utley served as Associate Professor of Saxophone at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.   

Utley has been a featured soloist with the Vanderbilt Wind Symphony and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, and is a regular classical saxophonist with the Nashville Symphony.  He has also performed with many regional symphonies including those of Jackson, Tennessee and Owensboro, Kentucky.  As a chamber musician, Utley has performed with Intersection, a Nashville-based contemporary music ensemble, with the Blair Wind Quintet and the Stone Fort Wind Quintet, and is a co-founder of the award-winning Red Stick Saxophone Quartet.

He is a regular recitalist at regional and national conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance, and has performed at multiple NACUSA conferences, World Saxophone Congresses, International Saxophone Symposia, and new music festivals.  As an advocate of new music, he has premiered works by noted composers including David Froom, Leonard Mark Lewis, Stephen Lias, Lidiuno Pitombeira, and William Price.  Utley is also a regular guest artist and clinician at universities and secondary schools throughout the country, and serves frequently as an adjudicator for local, state, and regional competitions.   

Utley’s students have won concerto competitions at both Stephen F. Austin and Vanderbilt.  His students have also placed highly in the MTNA Young Artist Competition (including a National Finalist) and have been accepted into graduate programs at major universities.  

His first solo recording Characters is available on the Mark Records label.  The project features 21st-century music by American composers, including three world premiere recordings.  He can also be heard in recordings on the New Tertian and Magni Publications labels.