The New York Chamber Brass, New York City’s newest brass ensemble, has been named Faculty-in-Residence at Purchase College, State University of New York. Featuring some of New York’s finest brass players, the group is the first to hold the position at the College.
New York Chamber Brass was formed in 2009 by New York based trumpeter Graham Ashton, Chair of Brass at the Conservatory of Music.
“New York is one of the most eclectic and cosmopolitan cities in the world,” said Ashton “the idea was to create a dynamic, modern ensemble that would reflect that energy and edginess with the best players the city had to offer. We promise unparalleled, virtuosic performances featuring the finest of original, contemporary music for brass.”
Ashton, who trained at the Royal Academy in London, has had a long and impressive international career as a performer and educator. He joined the faculty of Purchase College in 1999 to host the International Trumpet Guild’s 25th Anniversary Conference. Ashton has appeared as a soloist with such notables as the BBC Symphony, London Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, New York Virtuosi, and Australian Chamber Orchestra.
The members of the New York Chamber Brass are Graham Ashton and Rich Clymer (trumpets), Peter Reit (horn), Timothy Albright (trombone) and Marcus Rojas (tuba) who are all on the faculty of Purchase College.
“How exciting for our students and the public to enjoy this marvelous new music,” said Thomas J. Schwarz, President of Purchase College. “Through this residency, these distinguished musicians will bring a new dynamic to the cultural scene at Purchase, with new sounds for a generation eager to embrace contemporary brass chamber music.”
The group’s repertoire is compellingly diverse, encompassing all the significant quintets specifically written for brass from the 1950’s to the present day, from the lyrical quintets of Malcolm Arnold, Charles Collier Jones and Michel Leclerc, to the more complex and virtuosic works of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Luciano Berio and Alvin Etier. The ensemble currently has over 30 works in their repertoire.
“Where else can you hear music-making at this level for free,” said Dr. Robert Thompson Interim Director of the Conservatory of Music. “This is an awesome opportunity for students, and for the wider community, to join us on campus to really enjoy, and appreciate, the talents and expertise of our faculty.”
Integral to their performance schedule is an education program sponsored in part by Rayburn Music and based at Purchase College. Each season hundreds of students from New York State, New Jersey and Connecticut will hear the New York Chamber Brass in seminars, workshops, and concerts. The education program is closely linked to a weekly Brass Chamber Music Seminar at Purchase which is open to all students and the public from surrounding communities. Admission is free.
Seminars for the fall of 2009 will take place in the Recital Hall of the Purchase College Conservatory of Music at 1:30 PM.
Sept. 14, 21
Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26
For details call 914-251-6987 or go to www.newyorkchamberbrass.com/engagements.php
In addition to Purchase, the group will give regular performances at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, LaGuardia High School for the Arts, Merkin Hall, and the National Cathedral, Washington, DC. International tours include performances at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts in China from October 31-Nov. 8, and in the UK, France, Germany and South America.
In April of 2010, they will give the New York premiere at Manhattan’s Merkin Hall of the Brass Quintet by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen’s Music.
They record for the European record label Signum Classics, London and their first CD scheduled to be recorded in the summer of 2010 will
be the Brass Quintet by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
The group has also initiated a Composer-in-Residence Program
for an emerging graduate composition student at Purchase College. Each season, a young composer will work closely with the ensemble in the fall semester to produce a new work that will be premiered by the Quintet at the end of the spring semester. The student’s work will be added to the Quintet’s repertoire and performed at subsequent concerts.