The Symphonic Brass of London is a hand-picked ensemble of Britain’s very finest brass and percussion players. London is indisputably the world’s leading centre of musical excellence and our musicians reflect every aspect of music making in this vibrant city. Our musicians bring a wealth of experience gained from holding solo, orchestral and chamber positions at the highest level. They perform with many of the top names in jazz, light and film music, both in live performance and the commercial studio. This unique combination of excellence and mastery of varied styles has created an extraordinary ensemble whose musical flexibility is second to none. The Symphonic Brass of London is widely celebrated for the impeccable quality of its orchestral sound and the vibrancy, high energy, pure joy and fun of its music-making.
The group is extremely flexible and performs in various formats: a Quartet, Quintet, Dectet, and Large Symphonic Brass. These formats enable us to cater for any musical occasion; the Quartet and Quintet with their lighter, flexible and intimate voicing; the Dectet, a ten-part ensemble with a surprisingly weightier sound, expandable with percussion and voices; and ultimately the grandeur and huge impact of the nineteen-part Large Symphonic Brass.
This makes London Symphonic Brass ideal for high quality concerts, corporate entertainment, promotional events, weddings, social events and ‘Last Night of The Proms’ spectaculars in venues of all sizes. Put simply, The Symphonic Brass of London can provide for any occasion where top class music-making is required.
The Symphonic Brass of London, under its artistic director Eric Crees, has already performed both in the UK and abroad to great acclaim. Performances include guest ensemble at the Narbonne Festival and International Brass Quintet Competition, the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall and the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at the Mansion House, London.
The Quintet and the brand new Quartet are the smallest ensembles, making them ideal for a multitude of events including chamber concerts, weddings, graduation ceremonies, garden parties and background music for corporate or social events when a more intimate and discreet atmosphere is required. These groups are, nevertheless, far from underpowered and can deliver powerful celebratory music. Both the Quartet and Quintet perform a wide variety of music from the Baroque and Classical through to West End and Broadway shows, jazz and pop.
At twice the size, the Dectet is much fuller in sound than the Quintet. This makes it ideal for larger-scale concerts, corporate and social events where a grand statement is desired and is tailor-made for outdoor spectacular concerts and large society weddings. This ensemble enables the production of programmes that would normally require much larger forces, but with the flexibility to perform smaller group repertoire, antiphonal works and even full orchestral arrangements, as well as the increasingly abundant dedicated ten part repertoire from our in-house arrangers Eric Crees and Nick Lloyd. Moreover, the group can be expanded with percussion and vocalist(s) to produce our ‘Last Night of the Proms’ spectacular.
The nineteen-part Large Symphonic Brass produces a monumental and hugely diverse palette of sound, as remarked upon in the Evening Standard – “an extraordinary diverse range of tone colour… You will even swear you hear clarinets, strings, even the human voice.” This magnificent line-up is ideal for large scale concerts in large symphonic halls and cathedrals and grand ceremonial occasions and would be an inspirational ensemble for film and commercial composers. In addition to the Large Symphonic Brass’s dedicated repertoire, Eric Crees has devised a non-stop concert, featuring the spectacular antiphonal and multi-brass choir music of Giovanni Gabrieli and his Venetian contemporaries perfect for music festivals using large churches and cathedrals.
Eric Crees was born in London and has played with some of London’s most auspicious orchestras and ensembles. He was a member of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble while still a student and was director of London Symphony Orchestra Brass for many years, conducting them in London and abroad and releasing five CDs. He has also prepared a new performing edition of the complete forty-three instrumental ensemble sonatas and canzonas by Giovanni Gabrieli, available on the Naxos label with London Symphony Orchestra Brass, as well as an edition of the complete works that Belgian composer Paul Gilson wrote for La fanfare Wagnérienne, a brass group based at the Brussels Conservatory at the turn of the 20th century, using the brass instruments that Wagner used in his Ring Cycle. Extraordinarily, these works had not been performed for 100 years and has made the world première recording of them on the Musical Concepts label with Guildhall Brass. His renowned arrangements and original compositions are performed regularly by leading brass groups around the world, making Eric one of the most successful and respected figures in his field. He formed the Symphonic Brass of London with Nick Lloyd and the group released their first CD, A Bridge Over the Pyrenees, in January 2014.
For Eric Crees’s full biography, click here