24 October 2008

The Ottone Brass Quintet (Belgium)

The Ottone Brass Quintet was officially held over the baptismal font on 1 October 2004. In Ottone, Italian for brass, the group found its proper name. The quintet was immediately noticed by the Belgian national classical radio station, Klara and gave its first concert on 17th of October 2004 in deBijloke concert hall in Ghent. The concert was broadcasted during the programme ‘Visioenen’ produced by Peter Van Bouwel.Ottone unites five musicians whose aim is to help to revive the art of the brass quintet. The quintet consists of Alain De Rudder and Steven Verhaert, trumpet, Eliz Erkalp horn, Jan Smets trombone and Mark Reynolds on the tuba. As well as being soloists of deFilharmonie (Antwerp) and the Orchestra of La Monnaie (Brussels), each of the members bring with them a wealth of experience of playing in both national and international chamber music ensembles and have a wide knowledge of repertoire ranging from early to contemporary music.

Guiseppe Verdi (1813-1901) Prelude to Act I from ‘La Traviata’
Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Suite of ‘Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk’

Italian Brass Quintet (Italy)

This group is formed by some members of the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, joined by firendship and musicality. The high level and the virtuosism of its members enable them to deliver performances of great quality. It has a wide repertory, consisting of original pieces and of arrangements of all times.
The quintet has already performed in many Festivals, as it was invitet at: Antey-St-André (Val d'Aosta), Santa Fiora in Musica (Toscana), Ouverture Toscana 2001 (Siena), Minori (Salerno), Ancona Musica, Urbino Festival, Estate Musicale Imprunetina, Teatro Ponchielli di Cremona, Gargano Festival, La Spezia Società dei concerti, Syracuse University, Brass Festival in Nus, Brass festival in Brescia, Art is Life in Rome, Napoli nova Festival ,Madonie Festival, and others.
The members of the Italian Brass Quintet are quite active as teachers in courses and master classes in Italy, Europe and other countries. They are the coaches of the World Youth Orchestra, Accademia Mimesis Maggio Arte, Accademia Santa Fiora in Musica.

08 October 2008

Berlioz Historical Brass

Berlioz Historical Brass dedicates itself to the exploration and presentation of early 19th century brass instruments. The inspiration for the ensemble stems from a Boston Symphony Orchestra performance of Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle. Maestro Seiji Ozawa set a precedent by including a period instrument in the orchestra--the serpent played by Douglas Yeo--thus demonstrating that the modern symphony and chamber music settings could provide a venue to inform audiences of these unique brass instruments. The ensemble now includes the presentation of twelve instruments--keyed bugle, natural horn, trombone, buccin, serpent, serpent Forveille, serpent a pavillon, Russian bassoon, cimbasso, bass horn, ophimonocleide, and ophicleide--all used during Berlioz's time and most appear in his Grande traite d'instrumentation .

Berlioz Historical Brass players, in what has become an informal collective of musicians, perform in modern and period orchestras and serve as editors, columnists, and authors of historical brass resarch. The ensemble also serves to encourage and assist in the production of recordings and the publication of early 19th century editions of sacred and harmonie music for historical brass.

03 October 2008

Norlan Bewley (The Low Brass Ensemble)

Norlan Bewley, Low Brass Artist (trombone, euphonium, and tuba family of instruments), is a new breed of brass player specializing in performance on all of the low brass instruments. For the past twenty years he has had extensive experience teaching, performing on, and composing for low brass, developing an unparalled perspective, insight, and approach toward these instruments. Through years of private teaching and performance, he has developed direct and effective methods of instruction that address the most basic and difficult areas of low brass playing in a manner clear to all, from beginners to professionals. In his private teaching alone, for the past 10 years Norlan has given more than 700 individual low brass students over 23,000 private lessons. A champion of the instruments, he is dedicated to the improvement, advancement, and increase of opportunities for every aspect of low brass education and performance.


Low Brass Ensemble Music is a new type of listening and performance opportunity. The musical sound is a cross between the Trombone Choir and the Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, which are both popular groups. They each exclude the other half of the low brass section however, so the goal of the Low Brass Ensemble is to allow all of the low brass instruments to participate in one group.

The instrumentation for the Low Brass Ensemble is trombone 1, trombone 2, euphonium, and tuba. The music is all 4-part writing, so the Low Brass Ensemble can be used for chamber music as a quartet, or with multiple players on each part as a large ensemble, even using the entire low brass section if desired. From an educator's perspective, it can be an easier ensemble to assemble than an all trombone or all tuba/euphonium group, plus it involves all of the low brass section.