LSO takes principal trumpet from Australia

The London Symphony Orchestra has finally filled the vacancy left by the death of Rod Franks in 2014.

The new co-principal trumpet is David Elton, who has held the seat at the Sydney Symphony for the past six years Before that he was in Perth and Adelaide. He has also appeared with several world orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic.

Photo: Tim Walsh/SSO

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  • Well hopefully in England, the trumpet of choice will remain the B-flat – and the tuba of choice will remain the E-flat. Other instruments can be used in exceptional cases, but the British sound is tied to those instruments – and also the slightly smaller bore size. And while the LSO doesn’t follow this as much any more, the typical string section size was less as well – so there were lighter textures, clearer woodwinds, etc. There are musical advantages – there are exceptions when doing heavier Strauss, Bruckner, etc. But there’s no reason why that approach has to be used for Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Brahms, etc. It doesn’t just have to be reserved for the group that can’t afford to have a full string section, or a chamber orchestra.

    • For what its worth, he can be seen playing a C trumpet on the first C part on the Rite of Spring with the LSO.

    • Actually, many London trumpeters had started using even higher trumpets (Schilke and Yamaha Eb for instance) before Maurice Murphy and his colleagues re-established the Bb standard. In the end, it’s the player, not the instrument, and often the choice of eg. the mouthpiece can make a bigger difference than the one tone difference between C and Bb.

  • Is this another in the line line of Australian artists having to go overseas to be recognised?

    Or is it his overseas gigs that got him this reward?

    • Dave Elton is highly recognised and admired here in Australia . We only wish him well . He is an amazing player , an exceptionally nice guy and colleague , yet so very humble despite his extraordinary abilities .
      So in answer to your question Rob , this is definitely not a case of an Australian player having to go overseas to be recognised.

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