Paul Brodie

Paul (Zion) Brodie. Saxophonist, teacher, b Montreal 11 Apr 1934, d Toronto 19 Nov 2007; B MUS (Michigan), M MUS (Michigan) 1958. Paul Brodie studied clarinet in high school and played with the Regina Lions Junior Band.

Brodie, Paul

Paul (Zion) Brodie. Saxophonist, teacher, b Montreal 11 Apr 1934, d Toronto 19 Nov 2007; B MUS (Michigan), M MUS (Michigan) 1958. Paul Brodie studied clarinet in high school and played with the Regina Lions Junior Band. He studied saxophone 1953-8 with Larry Teal at Ann Arbor and in 1959 with Marcel Mule in Paris, and made his New York debut at Town Hall in 1960. He taught woodwinds 1959-60 at the Royal Conservatory of Music, 1968-73 at the University of Toronto and began teaching at York University in 1982. In 1961 he founded the Brodie School of Music and Modern Dance in Toronto; he was its director until the school closed in 1979.

In 1969 Paul Brodie founded the World Saxophone Congress in Chicago with Eugene Rousseau to demonstrate the versatility of the saxophone. The congress is an international event that is held every three years. The third congress, hosted by Brodie, took place in 1972 in Toronto; Montreal hosted the congress in 2000. New works were commissioned for the Toronto congress by the CBC (Violet Archer: Sonata), the Ontario Arts Council (Rudolf Komorous: Dingy Yellow) and the Canada Council (John Weinzweig: Divertimento No. 6).

In 1972 Brodie formed the Paul Brodie Saxophone Quartet with his pupils Lawrence Sereda, Robert Pusching and John Price. In 1976 the quartet represented Canada at the World Saxophone Congress in London. By 1978 members of the quartet in 1978 were Brodie, Price, Marino Galluzzo and John Salistian. The quartet appeared in the film A Circle of Two, directed by Jules Dassin. It ceased activities in 1979 due to Brodie's increasing solo commitments.

As one of Canada's foremost proponents of the classical saxophone, Brodie performed and recorded original works and transcriptions of Baroque, Classical, Romantic and modern works on the alto, soprano and sopranino saxophones. He persuaded Keith Bissell, Richard Henninger, Lothar Klein, William McCauley, Oskar Morawetz, Tibor Polgar and others to compose for the saxophone. His playing - flexible, restrained, strong technically and fine tonally - was a factor in the success of his crusade. Brodie toured as soloist and with the quartet throughout Canada, the US, Europe and Mexico, and appeared with Camerata, the Halifax Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Chamber Orchestra. In 1977 Brodie became the first concert saxophonist to tour Australia; he returned there in 1984 while on tour in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. In 1990 he spent a month in China, performing and giving master classes.

His pupils included Robert Bauer, Jean-Guy Brault, Bob Brough, Karin Goldberg, Glen Montgomery, Ramon Ricker, Bill Smith, Michael Stuart and John Tank. A recording by Brodie was heard on the soundtrack for the movie Heaven Can Wait and his recording of "The Rose of Sharon" was included on Gilmour's Album: All-Time Favourites. In 1994 Paul Brodie was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.


Paul Brodie: Ambassador of the Saxophone, 2nd ed (Bala 2000)

A Student's Guide to the Saxophone (Agincourt, Ont 1979)

"From the diary of Paul Brodie," Canadian Band Directors' Association Journal, Spring 1997

Further Reading

  • 'The saxophone in concert,' Jeunesses musicales of Canada, Jun 1964

    Schulman, Michael. 'Brodie's saxophone: triumph through joy,' Performing Arts in Canada, vol 13, Spring 1976

    Fetherling, Doug. 'Sax appeal,' The Canadian, 27 Aug 1977

    Gilmour, Clyde. 'The joy of saxophone,' City and Country Home, vol 3, Dec 1984

    Gibson, David J. 'Paul Brodie,' Saxophone Journal, vol 11, Fall 1986

    Littler, William. 'Chinese just love saxophone king,' Toronto Star, 21 Jun 1990

External Links