Meet Alison Balsom’s substitute

Meet Alison Balsom’s substitute


norman lebrecht

May 26, 2017

The trumpet star has withdrawn from the scene to have a baby.

Here’s who her recording label is pushing up the ladder.

press release:

Lucienne Renaudin Vary will be joining the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Cambridge Corn Exchange to take on Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto on Saturday 17 June. At 18, Lucienne has a bright future ahead of her, currently still a student of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, she will take a short break from her exams in order to make her first appearance with the RPO. She is the first student at the conservatoire to have ever been accepted on both the classical and jazz course at the same time, and notably also the youngest and first female student to do so.

Lucienne was hailed ‘Revelation of the Year’ in the 2016 Victoires de la Musique Classique(the French Grammy Awards), performing live at the ceremony to a televised audience of 1.5 million. Lucienne had already appeared at the Victoires three years earlier, at the age of 14, in an tribute to French trumpet legend Maurice André. In addition to a sterling classical technique, Lucienne is also a prodigious and passionate jazz trumpeter, having studied both styles in parallel. For her forthcoming debut album on Warner Classics, titled A Voice, she will move effortlessly between the two in wide-ranging repertoire inspired by and featuring the human voice.  Future dates include her debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra and a return to the London Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy. Next season will also see orchestral debuts with the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Les Violons du Roy and Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, as part of their rising star series.


  • boringfileclerk says:

    Nice enough student player, but she’s not ready for the big time just yet.

  • Bolsuppe Formidable says:

    So what’s the big time? Playing a three-part fugue from the “48”?

  • John Porter says:

    Okay player, just about mid pack in any major conservatory. There are tons that play rings around this trumpet player. Wanna here someone great?

  • Orlando Gibbons says:

    Philip Cobb LSO Principal Trumpet at 21….

  • mr oakmountain says:

    This was a film studio show performance with close miking and artificial reverb. They made her stand a mile away from the orchestra, she might not have been able to even hear them properly. Enough to make everyone uncomfortable and kill any interplay between soloist and orchestra. Maybe this video does not represent her at her best. It will be interesting to hear her in a “real” concert hall context. Good luck!

    • boringfileclerk says:

      I’ve been listening to a lot of her other videos today, and my opinion has not changed. She needs more training both in technique and phrasing. She’s an average conservatory player that needs more coaching and practice. After a few more years she may be ready, but it was wrong to give her this chance so soon.

      • Ben says:

        God bless you. Nowadays, it’s look, look, look, plus a side spread of gender bias. Nevertheless, she doesn’t bombard the audience with the wrong notes like Pollini did at Carnegie last year. 🙂

        She may be the next great thing in the trumpet world. For now, any senior student at Curtis could make better music.

  • Steve P says:

    Gotta say: she is not bad, but the technique of a great trumpet player just ain’t there. Chips and weird articulation all over the place. Wouldn’t make a difference if one didn’t suspect her gender played a part in her getting this particular gig.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    Someone steps in to fill a one-off gig and the internet harpies come out to make sure she regrets it.

    • Steve P says:

      Doubt many of the comments here will make it to her. But putting yourself front and center when not up to the task sorta lends itself to criticism, don’t you think? Or should the only comment be, “Well, congratulations! You certainly deserved this opportunity based on your exceptional skills, not on your gender or looks!”

  • Paul Edlin says:

    For those critics, I will tell them (and I speak as a trumpeter who studied with John Wallace and knows and hugely respects Alison Balsom) that Lucienne is a truly remarkable musician. A phenomenon, in fact! I have heard her live, and the outstanding musicians accompanying her upped their game to match her. We are very lucky to have such supreme talent as Lucienne, no doubt hugely inspired by the great Alison Balsom herself!