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BBC Symphony Orchestra at Trinity Laban

Wed 8 May 2024

Last week, our brass students participated in a fantastic masterclass with principals from the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Our trumpet and trombone students took part in two exceptional masterclasses with Helen Vollam, Philp Cobb, and Liz Burley (Principal Trombone, Principal Trumpet, and Principal Piano of the BBC Symphony Orchestra respectively). The students were also treated to a wonderful recital by the professional trio.

Helen Vollam, Principal Trombone of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, comments on the event: “It was great to work on some key aspects of brass playing with the enthusiastic Trinity Laban brass students in our trumpet and trombone masterclasses. Also, it was exciting to perform to them some of our brand new trio repertoire for trumpet, trombone and piano.”.

Kevin Ashman, Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion Department Coordinator said: “It’s always a pleasure to welcome guest masterclass leaders to Trinity Laban. The recent visit by BBC Symphony Orchestra principals Philip Cobb (Trumpet), Helen Vollam (Trombone) and Liz Burley (Piano) was a truly memorable event. Philip and Helen spent time with a number of our trumpet and trombone students, with Liz accompanying them. Their insights and observations were so helpful and constructive, giving the students plenty to think about in terms of technical and musical ideas. They also added some valuable comments about working with an accompanist! The two masterclasses were separated by a recital of music for trumpet, trombone and piano that included the UK premiere of a work by composer Julia Simpson (who was present for the recital) along with a wide and varied range of repertoire that showcased the versatility and instrumental mastery that our guests possess!”

Trinity Laban extends its thanks to the BBC Symphony Orchestra musicians for their wonderful help and guidance.

About the BBC Symphony Orchestra

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has been at the heart of British musical life since it was founded in 1930. It plays a central role in the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, performing at the First and Last Nights, as well as throughout each Proms season. The BBC SO performs an annual season of concerts at the Barbican in London, where it is Associate Orchestra. Its commitment to contemporary music is demonstrated by a range of premieres each season, as well as Total Immersion days devoted to specific composers or themes.

Highlights of the 2022–23 season at the Barbican included Total Immersion days exploring the music of George Walker, Kaija Saariaho and Jean Sibelius, the last two led by Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo, who also conducted concerts showcasing the music of Grażyna Bacewicz. Principal Guest Conductor Dalia Stasevska conducted two concerts, one featuring Elgar’s Cello Concerto with cellist Sol Gabetta and a family concert celebrating the work of French animator Grégoire Pont.

A literary theme ran through the season, which included Neil Brand’s new version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles and the world premiere of Iain Bell’s Beowulf, with the BBC Symphony Chorus and with soloist Stuart Skelton. Ian McEwan, one of the most admired storytellers of our time, joined the orchestra to read from his own works, with music curated around his readings. The BBC Symphony Chorus also joined the BBC SO for Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, under Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis, with soloists including Pumeza Matshikiza and Dame Sarah Connolly. Among this season’s world and UK premieres were Victoria Borisova-Ollas’s Portrait of a Lady by Swan Lake, Kaija Saariaho’s Saarikoski Songs and Valerie Coleman’s Umoja (Anthem of Unity) conducted by Gemma New, and the season came to a close with the UK premiere of Joby Talbot’s opera Everest.