Beethoven - Symphony No.7 - Aurora Orchestra - Coal Drops Yard, Saffron Hall & BBC Proms

It is difficult to put into words how it feels to once again, after this long interval, perform live music with an orchestra. I’ve missed the explorative sounds, the thrill of a challenge, the deeply immersive concentration in performance, the organic progression of a project, the collective pursuit of excellence, the feeling of belonging, the extraordinary characters, the excitement, the unexpected
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Three Manx trumpet players at the BBC Proms 2020 Live series

Three Manx trumpet players performed in two consecutive BBC Proms concerts (in socially-distanced orchestras with no audience present) at the Royal Albert Hall in September 2020. Despite the shortening of this year’s Proms season, Manx trumpeters were key players at the world’s biggest classical music festival. Jason Evans took centre stage to perform the strongly-featured trumpet part in
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Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique - Aurora Orchestra

Ping. An email notification from the Aurora Orchestra: “Hi Russell, Is there a chance you might be available and willing to play 1st natural trumpet for this memorised Berlioz project, including at the BBC Proms? You’d just be needed for Symphonie Fantastique.” There followed a moment of hesitance and doubt, quickly overridden by a feeling of ‘if others can do it, I can do it’. Four
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Bach - Prom 38 - Solomon’s Knot - BBC Proms - Royal Albert Hall

After I played in the BBC Proms for the first time in September 2016 I wrote about the inspiring influence of being allowed to stay up late as a child to watch the Last Night of the Proms - broadcast live from the Royal Albert Hall. Later in life, as a postgraduate student at the Royal College of Music, the area around the Royal Albert Hall became very familiar. On occasion, I would have morning rehearsals
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Purcell - BBC Radio 3 - In Tune - 2019 Proms

I performed Purcell’s ‘Hark! the echoing air’ from the Fairy Queen with Clare Lloyd-Griffiths (soprano) and Solomon’s Knot as part of a special Proms edition of the BBC Radio 3 programme ‘In Tune’. The live broadcast took place just after the 17:00 news on Friday 19th July 2019 (the First Night of the Proms) in front of an audience at Imperial College London on Prince Consort Road. The
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Prom 68 - Rossini - ‘Semiramide’ - Sir Mark Elder - Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

As a young lad, if I showed any reluctance to attend a rehearsal I was given the choice of: 'band, ballet or bed'. I ruled out ballet immediately and always chose band eventually. To a six-year-old, the prospect of going to bed early seemed like a punishment - how times change! Being allowed to stay up late was a privilege reserved for very special occasions - one such occasion being the Last Night
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Russell Gilmour
Russell Gilmour Blog
writing on music, photography, engraving, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.