LSO has new principal trumpet and cello

LSO has new principal trumpet and cello


norman lebrecht

September 06, 2021

James Fountain has been appointed Principal Trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra, in place of David Elton, who has joined the Sydney Symphony (and won’t be playing any time soon). Elton held the seat since 2017. Fountain moves over from the London Philharmonic. It’s the time of year for musical chairs again.

We hear also that David Cohen has been offered the principal cello seat, vacated by Tim Hugh. The LSO have yet to confirm this.

Cohen is former principal of the Philharmonia Orchestra and widower of the late Corinne Chapelle. It has not yet been confirmed that he has accepted the offer.



  • Enquiring Mind says:

    I wonder why David Elton left after a short stint. Was it just due to better working conditions in Sydney?

    • CurlyQ111 says:

      Dave Elton is from Australia, so maybe just to be closer to family and at home.

    • Angela says:

      David Elton was already Principal Trumpet of the SSO. For a time it appears he was holding both positions simultaneously. My guess is that the impossibility of jetting back and forth between London and Sydney in order to fulfil responsibilities in both posts meant that he had to choose one over the other.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    It’s always nice to be wanted.

  • Chicagorat says:

    Congratulations to the LSO for freely electing their principals.

    As basic and essential to the good functioning of a world class orchestra this operation is, it should never be taken for granted. In other less fortunate Orchestras – pick one randomly say … Chicago – principals are shoved down the audition committee’s throat by autocratic and unethical Godfathers.

    • ChicagoFan says:

      I feel that the Principal players in Chicago play very well. In some cases, better than who they replaced. There is something to be said to have the respect of your peers too. Have you heard the orchestra in the last 10 years?

  • Insider says:

    I believe James Fountain replaces Philip Cobb who recently moved to the BBC Symphony Orchestra. David Elton still remains on the roster and holds his LSO post in addition to his post in Sydney.

  • Stephen Birkin says:

    It’s good to see the LSO addressing its player shortfalls. However they’re still short of players in several positions:

    1. Leader (a further one, advertised some time ago)
    2. 2nd principal cello (which, as suggested in this feature, may now have been filled)
    3. 2nd principal viola (advertised some time ago) – following Paul Siverthorne’s departure
    4. Two principal double basses
    5. 2nd principal flute (following Adam Walker’s departure)
    6. 2nd flute
    7. 2nd principal clarinet
    8. Bass clarinet
    9. 2nd principal trombone
    10. 2nd principal horn (advertised a while ago and for some time the only vacancy on their website)
    11. 4th horn
    12. 2nd trumpet
    14. 2nd principal timpani (advertised some time ago if memory serves)
    15. Keyboard (?)

    It’s going to take a while to sort this, so expect guest players for some time yet.

  • Malcolm James says:

    According to the websites, David Elton has been principal of the SSO since 2012 and principal of the LSO since 2017. How he combines the two, I don’t know, but James Fountain replaces Philip Cobb.

  • Fiddlist says:

    Dave Elton was principal in Sydney before joining LSO. “Re-joining” SSO would be more accurate!

  • Mathew Tucker says:

    Mind you, it is somewhat concerning that a major orchestra should lose two principal trumpets in the space of a year.