Nicholas Keyworth talks to our latest Musician of the Month, trumpeter Louis Barclay.
Louis has been playing principal trumpet with the London Firebird Orchestra for seven months. He explains three key benefits arising from this:
“For me the crucial aspects of playing with this fantastic orchestra include firstly, the opportunity of learning and playing a wide variety and wealth of repertoire which I would otherwise not get the chance to play. secondly, learning to play as part of a team and perform music as one entity, if you like, is invaluable. Finally the excitement and sense of fulfilment that comes from the camaraderie of an orchestra is next to none, in my opinion.”
However Louis tells me that he didn’t start off with the trumpet:
“I started to learn the violin and piano at young age, but I soon saw the error of my ways and started to learn the trumpet. I then continued to become a member of the National Youth Orchestra and the Principal Trumpet of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra.“
Louis went on to study trumpet at the Royal College of Music, under Mark Calder, Alistair Mackie and Jason Evans, all members of the Philharmonia Orchestra.
I ask Louis about his other performing experiences both within and outside of the RCM. He tells me these are quite wide ranging:
“At the RCM I play in various orchestras and chamber ensembles, including the Brass Septet. Earlier this year, I was invited to travel to Germany and play as Principal Trumpet in the Mannheimer Philharmoniker, and this summer I shall be playing with the Britten Pears Orchestra.“
Although Louis is still studying at the RCM and has already had some fantastic musical experiences so far. 4. Playing with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band was one of them, but told me of others too:
“Some of the highlights for me include playing in major UK concert venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Cadogan Hall and Symphony Hall. I am also hugely looking forward to playing Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony under Semyon Bychkov this August.”
Louis seem to be well on track to make a successful career as a professional orchestral trumpet player. In addition, he also enjoys education work and schools projects – something so essential for the 21st century musician.