“With an ear for the cutting edge and a technique to match, Alex Roth's music can be considered at the forefront of London's newest art music.”
Edge Music show, Shoreditch Radio
"One of London contemporary music’s most innovative and impressive talents."
Daniel Paton, musicOMH
"A rising star on the creative jazz scene."
Stephen Graham, Marlbank
“Alex Roth's guitar playing involves the fascinating creation of texture. He has absorbed the colours and vocabulary and trick-box of guitarists as diverse as Bill Frisell and Fred Frith, and can take the listener on a journey in every tune.”
Sebastian Scotney, London Jazz News
“Music that communicates without compromising.”
Oliver Weindling, Babel Records
Composer, guitarist, improviser, producer and interdisciplinary artist Alex Roth is gaining a reputation across the UK as "one of contemporary music’s most innovative and impressive talents" (musicOMH). Drawing inspiration from dance, film, literature and visual art as well as myriad musical traditions, Alex's work ranges across boundaries, and he regularly collaborates with leading figures from the jazz, improv, contemporary classical, alternative folk and electronic music communities. He is constantly exploring ways of expanding the artistic context of his music, developing a multimedia practice that includes work with choreographers, designers, visual and digital artists.
Many of Alex's compositions have been written for the numerous ensembles he has led/co-led, including jazztronica quintet Otriad; art-rock band Blue-Eyed Hawk (whose debut album Under the Moon was named Best Jazz Album in The Irish Times' The Ticket Awards 2014); electric guitar ensemble Future Currents (which released its debut EP in 2016); and electro-acoustic chamber ensemble Sefiroth, for whom he produced and directed Arvoles Lloran por Luvia, a multimedia theatre performance re-imagining traditional Sephardic repertoire. Other ensembles Alex has written for include the London Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Chaos Orchestra, Balkan-inspired chamber group Yurodny, Manchester-based ensemble Psappha and Rise Saxophone Quartet. In addition to his own projects, Alex has recorded and performed extensively with singer/songwriter Alice Zawadzki (whose debut album China Lane he co-produced), Laura Jurd's Human Spirit and Irish band ReDiviDeR among others.
Alex studied composition with Frank Denyer at Dartington College of Arts, writing his dissertation on composing for improvisers. Then, in 2010, he was the only guitarist admitted onto the jazz MA course at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating in 2012 with distinction and receiving a Postgraduate Diploma (DipRAM) for outstanding performance in a postgraduate recital. He has won many other awards, including the Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition and the Musicians Benevolent Fund's Emerging Excellence Award.
In 2012 Alex was shortlisted for a BASCA British Composer Award and named runner-up in the Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Enterprises in Performance and Composition. In 2014 he was selected for both Serious's Take Five scheme and the LSO Discovery Panufnik scheme, through which he wrote his first orchestral composition and was subsequently commissioned to write for the LSO Community Choir. In 2015 Alex was composer-in-residence at the Institute of Composing through Sound and Music's “Embedded” scheme, which saw him working closely with improvising chamber ensemble Notes Inégales, directed by Peter Wiegold, and culminated in the premiere of a large-scale piece for the group with guest soloist John Butcher. The same year, with Blue-Eyed Hawk, he was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to compose and record settings of texts by Franz Kafka for broadcast on Jazz on 3. He was also selected as a British Music Collection “New Voices” artist and invited to become an LSO Soundhub Associate. 2016 saw Alex collaborate with dance company Sounding Motion as part of Sound and Music's Portfolio programme, resulting in the Kafka-inspired multimedia theatre piece Fugue State. In 2017, he composed and directed the score for choreographer Kasia Witek’s dance piece One Wall of Me, premiered at Polish Cultural Association, and was commissioned by the London Sketchbook Festival to create electronic soundtracks for three digital art exhibitions presented at The Archivist's Gallery.
Alex has played at many of the UK's most renowned venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre, Barbican, Wigmore Hall, Sage Gateshead and Colston Hall. He has also performed in the US and across Europe, at festivals such as the BBC Proms, London Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, Love Supreme Festival, Dublin Electronic Arts Festival, Down With Jazz Festival (Ireland), Jazzdag (Netherlands), Suedtirol Jazz Festival (Italy), GAIA Chamber Music Festival (Switzerland) and Gogolfest (Ukraine). He has featured on radio stations worldwide and can also be heard on numerous television soundtracks for BBC, ITV and Channel 4. In 2018-19 Alex is carrying out a research project in partnership with the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kraków, supported by Arts Council England and British Council through the Artists’ International Development Fund. This will examine his family’s Polish-Jewish roots, culminating in a collaboration with Warsaw-based musicians Waclaw Zimpel and Hubert Zemler.