CLASSIC Brit Award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam was back in the spotlight with a stunning performance at the glittering BAFTAs ceremony.

The Ulverston sax sensation performed at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday in front of an audience that included Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Introduced by actress Joanna Lumley, Jess’s performance featured during the In Memoriam segment of the awards honouring those who had died in the film industry during the past year, including actor Albert Finney, composer Michel Legrand, actress Margot Kidder, writer William Goldman and director Nicolas Roeg.

Jess gave a beautiful rendition of Francis Lai’s award-winning theme from the the 1970 hit movie Love Story, which stars Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw and is regarded as one of the most romantic and heart-breaking films of all time.

“Thanks to BAFTA for having me,” tweeted Jess after the star-studded British Academy of Film and Television Arts event at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Later, Jess also announced that her debut album Rise will be released on April 26. The album will on Decca Classics. Rise is a collection of pieces which showcase her phenomenal talent and diverse musical taste, including cover versions of Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work and David Bowie’s Where Are We Now? As well as works by John Harle, Marcello and Shostakovich, the recording also features familiar hits from the film world, such as Closing In by John Williams - as featured in Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film Catch Me If You Can - Michael Nyman’s If, from The Diary of Anne Frank, and Francis Lai’s Theme from Love Story.

Jess recorded Rise with the BBC Concert Orchestra and chamber musicians, as well as celebrated guitarist Milos, who features on the track Flow My Tears, a transcription of the familiar Renaissance lute song by John Dowland.

Twenty year-old Jess said that to record an album had been a huge ambition for a very long time and couldn’t believe it’s was actually happening. “I’ve learned a lot through the recording process and the whole album consists of music I love so I am very excited to share it; I really hope you enjoy listening.”

Jess is not only renowned for her musicianship, but also her passion for music education. Yesterday, she wrote an open letter in The Guardian, calling on politicians to support music tuition in schools, as funding cuts continue to threaten the opportunities for children to learn an instrument and develop a greater understanding of the arts. “Music has changed my life,” wrote Jess. “I feel I have a duty to help ensure that others can benefit from its magic.”

Jess recently returned from New York following a performance at the city’s Greene Space as part of the launch for the WQXR 19 for 19 series, which celebrates some of the most exciting classical artists on the planet. From the Big Apple, Jess travelled to Washington DC for a recital with American pianist and award-winning composer Thomas Weaver. Jess returned to the UK for a series of gigs with Turkish pianist Zeynep Ozsuca. the Turkish pianist.

Jess, who blew the nation’s television viewers away with her BBC Proms performances, picked up a Classic Brit Award in the Sound of Classical Poll 2018 at the Royal Albert Hall last June.

She also returned to the London venue in September as the youngest ever female soloist to perform at the spectacular Last Night of the Proms.