brass ensemble


What is The Brass Foundry

Founded by trombonist and arranger Edward Solomon, The Brass Foundry is the realisation of a long-held desire among brass players in and around London to create a symphonic brass ensemble. A crucible can be defined as a place, time, or situation in which different social forces or intellectual influences come together and cause new developments. The COVID pandemic and a drive to return to normality brought together a group of musicians to forge The Brass Foundry, where new arrangements for the medium of the symphonic brass ensemble are constantly expanding the repertoire of this seldom heard, but magnificent sounding consort of brass and percussion.

The symphonic brass ensemble usually comprises 6 trumpets (including piccolo and E flat trumpets and flugelhorn), 4 horns, 3 trombones (including tenor and bass trombones), 1 euphonium, and 2 tubas, together with timpani and percussion to add a further dimension. Creating an ensemble that can provide the basis for artistic expression through the medium of new arrangements of serious works of music for the largest format available has been a labour of love and many hours spent arranging, recruiting, and organising.

A smaller 11-piece group also exists to perform lighter repertoire, consisting mainly of music for stage, screen, and dance. Instead of the usual 10-piece ensemble of 4 trumpets, 1 horn, 4 trombones, 1 tuba, which is trumpet/trombone-centric, we use a more flexible scoring of 4 trumpets (doubling piccolo and E flat trumpets and flugelhorns), 2 horns, 3 trombones (including tenor and bass trombones), 1 euphonium, and 1 tuba. The addition of an extra horn to the usual 10-piece group and the replacement of a trombone by a euphonium provides a wider palette of colours and more contrast.

The Brass Foundry is a collective of like-minded brass and percussion specialists, who are passionate about their instruments and especially about bringing great music to the wider world.

Ready to experience The Brass Foundry?

Sue Brighton on baritone
Sue Brighton on baritone
Edward Solomon on contrabass trombone
Edward Solomon on contrabass trombone

why The Brass Foundry

Driven by a desire to return to normality after extended periods of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, founder Edward Solomon spent many hours arranging works for symphonic brass ensemble, which had never been arranged previously. Realising that the route back to performance was through the medium of chamber music for limited numbers, the challenge was to create a new repertoire of works for the symphonic brass ensemble and find musicians to play them.

What makes The Brass Foundry different is through its innovative use of tonal colour to constantly strive for as much contrast as possible, where the more standard ensembles (quintet, 10-piece) can be more limited. To this end, arrangements for The Brass Foundry frequently include more rarely used instruments to broaden the palette.

The baritone, for example, acts as a bridge between the flugelhorn and the euphonium/tuba group, allowing for complete 4- or 5-part writing for the wide-bore conical brass. The contrabass trombone and contrabass tuba add another dimension to the lowest reaches of the ensemble, enabling the trombone and tuba groups to become fully independent of each other and establish even further contrast.

Our collection of works originally for piano, organ, brass band, or orchestra allow The Brass Foundry to spotlight the virtuosity of our talented musicians and bring to audiences our passion for these exciting new arrangements for symphonic and 11-piece brass ensembles.

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