Brass Section of the RLPO

French conductor, Yan Pascal Tortelier declared his greatest regret in music to an interview in The Guardian newspaper, “…Asking the Brass section of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to come in my face!” Perhaps just asking us to play louder would have been sufficient.

The Trumpet Section

Rhys Owens[far right]: Paul Marsden: Brendan Ball

Trumpet Section rehearsing Richard Strauss’ ‘Don Juan’

The lineage of trumpeters from which Rhys and Brendan decsend goes directly all the way back to Thomas Harper Snr, G.F. Handel’s famous Trumpeter. Sadly, Paul had trumpet lessons on the other side of the park.

The Proud History of the RLPO Trumpet Section

French Horns

RLPO 2nd horn Martin Taggart explained difficulty reading the way his music was printed as being the reason for his errant performance. Norman Del Mar, the conductor, and in a former chosen profession Dennis Brain’s 2nd horn in the Philharmonia sympathised, “…Yes, yes. I see the problem. Alas, it is your problem!.”

Tim Jackson: Simon Griffifths: David Pigott: Tim Nicholson: Chris Morley

The Lads with CBBC’s Dave Benson Phillips

Distinguished Czech conductor Libor Pesek pondered his score. “Colleagues, I see the problem. It is the F in Horn.”

The Wagner Tuba section


Wagner Tubas rehearsing Bruckner’s 7th Symphony

The Trombones

Simon Cowen [Near left]: Blyth Lindsay: Simon Chappell

“Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them.” Richard Strauss

The Boys having a blow through Bruckner’s 7th Symphony

“Remember, the trombone is your natural enemy.” Michael Laird


Robin also works extensively in Education

Robin Haggart

Latest News, Additions & Updates about The RLPO Brass

Website of the RLPO

5 Responses to Brass Section of the RLPO

  1. Pingback: Shops Upfront 26/6/2010 | Brendan Ball's Blog

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  3. Yvonne West says:

    The Yan Pascal Tortelier quote is an absolute classic !

  4. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    A trombonist writes …

    What R Strauss actually said: Never look encouragingly at the brass, except with a short glance to give an important cue.

  5. The world’s oldest, continuously playing brass band, Besses o’ th’ Barn Band of Whitefield, North Manchester has appointed Simon Cowen, aged 42, Principal Trombonist of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, as its new Musical Director and Principal Conductor. The appointment takes effect immediately. As a trombonist, Simon has played with all the major UK symphony orchestras including the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the London Symphony Orchestra. He has performed under the baton of such famous conductors as the late Sir Charles Groves, Sir Simon Rattle and the late Carlo Maria Giulini. Simon was also principal trombone with Black Dyke, Fairey’s and YBS brass bands for many years. In 2012, he performed a concerto for two trombones alongside the trombone virtuoso Christian Lindberg with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he is now principal trombonist. Simon has also played on many film and TV soundtracks and performed with acclaimed pop bands such as Elbow and Beautiful South.
    Simon Cowen says he is delighted to be appointed musical director and principal conductor of Besses o’ th’ Barn Band: “It is an absolute privilege and a real honour to be working with one of my all-time favourite brass bands. The history of the band itself is quite incredible and I remember enjoying listening to them as a youngster and becoming a big fan. It is going to be a very exciting year with the band as we work towards their 200th anniversary, with many concerts in the schedule. The atmosphere in the band room is simply fantastic and the dedication from each player is to be highly commended. I am very excited about a very happy future with this fabulous band.”
    Besses Band chairman David Hodgkinson said, “The entire band is thrilled to have someone of Simon’s huge musical talent and experience as our new musical director and principal conductor. We are confident that with Simon at the helm we shall sail into the future on top form and celebrate our bicentenary in 2018 with renewed vigour and enthusiasm.”
    The Band has launched a new recruitment campaign under the additional title “World famous Lancashire brass.” Both young and experienced brass and percussion players are welcome to audition. For further details email

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