Alison Balsom studied trumpet at the Guildhall School of Music, the Paris Conservatoire and with Hakan Hardenberger. She has recently signed a three disc exclusive contract with EMI Classics, and is a member of BBC Radio 3's New Generation
Performing on a range of instruments including natural and piccolo trumpets, in repertoire from Albinoni to Zimmerman and new commissions, Alison's recent appearances have included the BBC Proms, Barbican's Mostly Mozart Festival with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, RSO Stuttgart with Sir Roger Norrington, Bamberg Symphony with Mikko Franck, and the Munich Chamber Orchestra with Christoph Poppen.
Concerts this season include the Wigmore Hall, BBC Symphony with Sir Andrew Davis, London Chamber Orchestra, and BBC National Orchesta of Wales. She makes her US debut with the Milwaukee Symphony in January 2006, and will give the premiere of a concerto written for her by the young British composer Joby Talbot in late 2006, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the
Munich Chamber orchestras.
Libertango (Alison Balsom) - Last Night of the Proms 2009
The OHMI Trust - An Interview with Alison Balsom
Alison Balson - Concerto in C BWV 1055 - I Allegro
Alison Balsom - Badinerie from Orchestral Suite No2 BWV 1067
Alison Balsom - From Cello Suite No2 BWV 1008 - I Sarabande
Alison Balsom follows her critically acclaimed Bach: Works for Trumpet with CAPRICE, a demanding programme of popular classic works newly arranged for the trumpet. Joined by the Goteborgs Symfoniker conducted by Edward Gardner, Gramophone magazine notes that 'Balsom has the capacity to draw the sweetest sounds out of the trumpet to soothe even the most savage breast'
6 New 'ON' this week: 68 Total "Stations/Shows" Direct: DMX SYN: PRI: Classical 24 Markets include: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Atlanta, Houston, Baltimore(ADI), St. Louis, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Columbus OH, Canada
Now in its third year, Bristol Proms is back, continuing its tradition of inviting world-class artists to exploit the classical repertoire in an informal, accessible atmosphere, embracing the intimacy and unparalleled acoustics of Bristol Old Vic's theatre. This year's line-up features today's most celebrated performers and several Crossover Media Artists including - Daniel Hope on Monday July 27, Alison Balsom on Wednesday July 29, Milos Karadaglic on Friday July 31, and Pumeza Matshikiza.
Daniel Hope will be joined by his hand-picked Bristol Proms ensemble on Monday July 27, helping him explore the rivalry between Tchaikovsky and Brahms. Expect fireworks, virtuosity and some seriously intense sounds. After a rapturously received show of Baroque hits (through Google Glass, obviously) last year and a groundbreaking performance of Max Richter's Vivaldi: Recomposed in 2013, Hope is fast becoming a Bristol Proms mascot - and who better?
A late evening of immersive trumpetry is planned on the Wednesday, conceived by Alison Balsom and Adam Wright, featuring the music of Franceschini, Bach, Handel, Britten and Stravinsky and played on up to a dozen trumpets with harpsichord and cello continuo. SEE THE Classic fm PAGE
Followed by an intimate evening on the 31st with Milos Karadaglic, "classical guitar phenomenon" (The Sunday Times, 2014). Programme to include J. S. Bach's ‘Chaconne' from Partita No. 2 in D-minor BWV 1004, Jobim's Girl from Ipanema, Velazquez's Besame Mucho, Ben Jor's Mas Que Nada and newly commissioned arrangements of songs by The Beatles.
The Hollywood Bowl has always been a venue for trying out new talent. With high-definition video now part of the equation, the temptation for the Los Angeles Philharmonic to entice the most attractive young performers must be greater than ever.
Tuesday night with trumpet player Alison Balsom and guitarist Milos Karadaglic, who was making his L.A. Phil debut, the L.A. Phil went straight for marketable gold, given how both artists have been heavily promoted for their sex appeal. READ THE FULL Los Angeles Times REVIEW.
Voted Young British Classical Performer of the Year at the 2006 Classical Brits, Alison Balsom follows her critically-acclaimed album Bach: Works for Trumpet with Caprice, a novel and demanding programme of specially arranged popular classic works.
Included are sparkling transcriptions of Mozart's 'Rondo alla Turca' and the Queen of the Night's aria (from The Magic Flute) as well as the scintillating 'Variations on Bellini's Norma' by the French virtuoso Jean-Baptiste Arban (1825-89). Amongst the more lyrical numbers, Balsom plays arrangements of Rachmaninov's haunting Vocalise and the exquisite Nocturne from Tomasi's Trumpet Concerto. She also brings her unique sound to two pieces played by the trumpet alone: Paganini's well-known violin Caprice No.24 and Debussy's Syrinx.
One of Alison Balsom's musical priorities is to widen the repertoire for her instrument. 'These pieces were not written for the trumpet, and some are very different to anything I have performed before,' she enthuses. 'Six of the arrangements are by Julian Milone - a violinist with the LPO - who does lots of arranging and orchestrating for the LPO and other musicians. I knew he'd do something fresh and original and, being a practicing musician, that I could work with him.'
Born in 1979, Balsom trained with H?ken Hardenberger and John Wallace. A concerto finalist in the 1998 BBC Young Musicians Competition, she received the Feeling Musique Prize for quality of sound in the Fourth Maurice Andr? International Trumpet Competition. In addition to her busy concert schedule, she is a visiting professor at the Guildhall School of Music. In January 2006, Alison Balsom made her US debut with the Milwaukee Symphony. Later in the year, she will give the premiere of a concerto written for her by the young British composer Joby Talbot.
Mozart - Ronda alla Turca (arr. J Milone)
Piazzolla - Libertango (arr. J Milone)
O. Lindberg – Gammal f?bodspsalm (arr. J Milone)
Arban - Variations on Bellini's Norma (arr. J Milone)
Paganini - Caprice No. 24 (arr. A Balsom / J Milone)
Falla - 7 Popular Spanish songs (orch. L Berio)
Rachmaninov – Vocalise, Op.34 / 14 (arr. A Balsom)
Mozart – Die H?lle Rache (from Die Zauberfl?te) (transc. A Balsom)
J.S.Bach – Andante (from Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041) (transc. A Balsom)
Debussy – Syrinx (arr. A Balsom)
Tomasi – Nocturne (from Trumpet Concerto)
Piazzolla – Esqualo (arr. J Milone)
'Having chosen the pieces,' says Balsom, 'I had very strong ideas about what I wanted to do with them. For instance, I felt the original accompaniment for the Arban (a showpiece for the cornet) was musically bankrupt. As the themes are by Bellini, I wanted to have that real Italian feel and the trumpet to be operatic rather than sound like a cornet in a brass band. Julian has turned it into 'Italian opera meets brass band' - which is exactly what I wanted. With the Piazzolla pieces, I left it very much to Julian and then we sort of tweaked it together! It was a really enjoyable collaboration.'
Balsom brings her own arranging and transcribing skills to five of the numbers, citing Vocalise as one with which she is particularly pleased. 'I use Rachmaninov's orchestration for Vocalise and just changed a few things slightly – like putting things into the oboe or violins or swapping them round - to fit in with the trumpet line.'
The Tomasi and Lindberg works are the least known numbers on the album. 'The Tomasi is extremely lush and evocative. Every time I listen to each phrase, it conjures something different in my mind. I have played the Lindberg piece a lot with organ. I like it best when the organ can give a very sustained, string type of sound. I first heard it played by Hardenberger and found it immensely moving. It's an old Swedish folk tune with a title that is difficult to translate – it's about the place where the cows and sheep go at night, a safe place high up in the mountains.
Gramophone described Balsom's Bach album as 'splendid stuff' which showcased her 'phenomenal technique and gleaming expressiveness'. In an article in the same magazine hailing the classical superstars of tomorrow, legendary trumpeter John Wallace described Balsom as 'rare among her contemporaries for her concept of the classical trumpet as an art musical instrument'.
The LA Times commented: 'With this music, Balsom manages the paradoxical feat of both showing deep reverence for Bach and gamely exploding conventional wisdom surrounding his oeuvre.' 'Her playing combines brisk, effortless technique and beautiful tone that is both piercing and soft-edged,' observed The San Francisco Chronicle.