City Music Foundation November 2021

Connaught Brass

St Margaret's Church, Twickenham, TW1 1RL (opp. St Margarets Station)

Photograph of Connaught Brass by Benjamin Ealovega

The Paul Woodhouse Concert

Mogens Andresen:
Norwegian Dances: Prelude & Rheinlaender
Steven Verheist:
Suite from Pulcinella 2.0
Witold Lutosławski:
Mini Overture
Victor Ewald:
Quintet No. 2
Giovanni Gabrieli:
Lili Boulanger arr Foster:
Clairières dans le ciel
Florence Price arr Blair:
Georges Bizet arr Foster:
Carmen in thirteen and a half minutes

Connaught Brass is quickly making a name for itself as a fresh talent in the chamber music world. Having already made its debut at the Lucerne Festival and London’s Wigmore Hall, the ensemble’s ability to manipulate and unify sound earned them 1st Prize in the Inaugural Philip Jones International Brass Ensemble Competition (2019) and the Royal Overseas League Mixed Ensemble Competition (2022). Vibrant, spirited and bold, Connaught Brass places emphasis on its internal friendships to showcase its individual musical personalities within a unique collective sound.

Prior to its Philip Jones Competition win, the group won the Worshipful Company of Musicians Brass Ensemble Prize in 2018, and travelled to France shortly after to participate in the music festival Ferrandou Musique. The musicians returned to the same festival in 2019 and 2021. More recently, the quintet has become Artists of the Tillett Trust, City Music Foundation and Kirckman Concert Society, and attended the prestigious Britten Pears Chamber Music Residency 2022.

Recent seasons have seen the Connaughts perform widely across the UK and Europe, including tours of Switzerland in both 2021 and 2022, recitals at Societá Filarmonica Trento, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St George’s Bristol, The Great Birmingham Brass Fest, where they performed a new commission alongside Onyx Brass, St James’ Piccadilly, Hidden Doors Arts Festival Edinburgh and Lake District Summer Music Festival, as well as performing live on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune programme. The 22/23 season will see the group make its Netherlands debut, including a live radio broadcast from the Concertgebouw’s Spiegelzaal, an extensive performance schedule in their hometown of London at Wigmore Hall, King’s Place and St John Smith’s Square, as well as performances covering the rest of the UK.

Their ever-growing repertoire spans 500 years, from renaissance to contemporary works, across a large range of genres. The ensemble also takes great pride in undertaking and building its education work, including that supported by the Cavatina Trust and the Musicians Company.

Having been principal players and members of the European Union Youth Orchestra, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, members are now regularly appearing on the professional circuit. This includes freelancing with the London Symphony, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, English National Opera, Opera North, Welsh National Opera and Ulster Orchestras, as well as recording with and supporting artists such as Bruno Mars, The Jonas Brothers, Stormzy, Lil’ Nas X, Jamie Cullum, Rag‘n’Bone Man, Dave, Giggs and Gregory Porter.

Connaught Brass’ ambition is to explore and share the broadest range of musical repertoire with as wide an audience as possible, bringing brass chamber music to the forefront of today’s musical world.

© Olivia Da Costa