Lewis Banks is a Scottish saxophonist praised by the Herald for his ‘virtuosity and blinding characterisation’.
Born in Glasgow in 1994, Lewis’s playing is the result of his desire to combine the single-minded creativity of the previous generation of British saxophonists with a European tradition of precision, finesse and stylistic sensitivity. This desire combined with his belief in the power of honest, uninhibited live performance, has led Lewis down his own path as an artist.
This path has led to the development of new, genre-bending projects such as Afterlife (2019), a new music and film project based on David Eagleman’s book Sum: 40 Tales from the Afterlives which received a 4-star review from The Herald and was given a 2-page feature in The Herald Magazine. To date, Lewis has commissioned around 90' of new music, including his next project, Chrysalis (2021).
An active recital artist, Lewis was one of the recipients of the 2018-20 Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artists Award and the Masie Lewis Recital Award from the Musicians Company in London. Subsequently, he gave debut performances at The Purcell Room at London’s Southbank Centre and St Martin in the Fields. More recently, Lewis was invited by Gina McCormack (Brodsky Quartet) to give two performances in the Scottish Borders.
As a concerto soloist, Lewis performed the Ibert Concertino da Camera with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in 2016 and in 2019 was invited to perform with the RCS Chamber Orchestra in Santiago Baez’s L’Arlessienne Fantasy Concerto, with the composer himself at the piano.
Passionate about helping young musicians to realise their creative potential, Lewis recently gave visiting saxophone classes and lectures at Chetham’s School of Music, which focused on breaking down his ‘Afterlife’ project and showing students a roadmap for making their own creative performance projects.
Previously, Lewis studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he became the first wind player in history to achieve two 100% final recital marks and graduated with The Principal’s Prize for Excellence in 2018. He was a runner up prizewinner in the Bromsgrove International Musicians Competition 2018 and a wind finalist in the Royal Overseas League Music Competition 2019.