Legendary Trumpet Story

Just heard this wonderful story about the Great Trumpeter Willie Lang, from the eminent trombonist Peter Bassano…

John Georgiadis the renowned ex-leader of the London Symphony Orchestra has recently been coaching the strings of my Rochester Orchestra. Driving home after a rehearsal with John,my memory returned to a moment when John’s quick-wittedness as leader defused a potentially damaging relationship between an eminent guest conductor and the LSO.

The iconic trumpeter Willie Lang was given an extended and probably ‘hard time’ from the conductor after playing the lengthy off-stage flugel horn solo in Mahler’s 3rd Symphony in a style which didn’t appeal to this specific conductor. He went on a bit, to the point where Willie – who, as principal cornet of Black Dyke from an early age had been well trained in how to deal with conductors decided enough was enough. After he was allowed home early, Willie remarked as he left the rehearsal room “why don’t you f*** off you bald-headed Hungarian c***” – a broad yorkshire accent is not always readily understood by eastern europeans and so the conductor enquired of the leader “what did he say?” to which John immediately replied, “…He said, good night Maestro Solti”!

The Great Willie Lang

About brendanball

Professional Trumpeter: Soloist, Orchestra Player, Chamber Music, Contemporary Music & Education.
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2 Responses to Legendary Trumpet Story

  1. Jim Lang says:


    Would you be so kind as to tell me where you sourced that photo?

    Speak more via email.

    Best regards,

    Jim Lang

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