The Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble

The Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble

Classical Tour Graham Ashton, trumpet Mark Gould, trumpet William de Vos, horn Jim Pugh, trombones

Tour Dates

The Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble encapsulates everything you could want from a classical contemporary ensemble—individual virtuosity, bold and innovative arrangements, intuitive group playing and an effortlessly stylish blend of old and new.  Leader Graham Ashton’s eclectic band of performers on this tour have played with everyone from the London Philharmonic and the San Diego Symphony Orchestras to Joe Lovano, Harry Connick Jr, Barbara Streisand and Celine Dion.  Comprising Graham Ashton, Mark Gould on trumpets, William de Vos, horn and Jim Pugh, trombone, the quartet can be heard on a Music Network tour from February 16-25, 2005.  The programme includes original compositions, arrangements for brass of works by Copland, Stravinsky and Bartók and, to celebrate GABE’s Irish tour, the world première performance of Dreamsuite by Graham Ashton.  Music Network tours are sponsored by the Arts Council and presented in association with the Irish Times and with RTÉ lyric fm.

About the Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble

Recognized throughout the world for his visionary performances and imaginative programming, Graham Ashton formed the Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble (GABE) in New York in May 1999 when he was appointed Professor of Trumpet and Chair of Brass at Purchase College, State University of New York.  Drawing together an eclectic, and classy mix of New York’s most distinguished brass players, GABE has given acclaimed performances in many of New York’s prestigious venues, including St. Bartholomew’s on Park Avenue; Rockefeller University; Miller Theatre, Columbia University; Lyric Chamber Music Society; Century Club and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  In 2003-04, the ensemble also toured Wyoming and Colorado, and performed at the Epsival Festival in Limoges and St. Yreiex, France.  The Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble records for Signum Records (London) and for the New York surround-sound label, Sony-Sonoma. GABE’s latest CD for Signum Records, ‘The Music of James Pugh and Daniel Schnyder’ was launched in January 2004 and has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the US. The ensemble’s most recent CD for Sony-Sonoma, ‘Music for organ, brass and timpani’ with organist Anthony Newman and timpanist Duncan Patton, was released in November 2004. 

About the Performers

Graham Ashton (trumpet) is Professor of Trumpet at Purchase College, State University of New York. He has performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras including the BBC Symphony, London Philharmonic, Australian Chamber Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, and the National Symphony and Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestras in South Africa.  Recent solo appearances include performances with the New York Virtuosi, Wyoming Symphony, New York Bach Orchestra, Festival Of New Trumpet in Manhattan, and a recital tour of New York State with virtuoso American organist, Robert Fertitta.  Mr. Ashton has recorded as a soloist for EMI Virgin, Nimbus, IMP Classics, Koch and Claves with the English Chamber Orchestra and Irish Chamber Orchestra.

A founding member of GABE, Mark Gould (trumpet) was principal trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra from 1974-2003 and has been on the faculty of the Juilliard School since 1982.  While there, Mr. Gould participated in over 40 ‘Live from Lincoln Center’ performances on PBS, and numerous audio recordings of operas and symphonic works under the direction of James Levine.  Several of these have been awarded a Grammy including the Ring of the Nibelung and Parsifal for Deutsche Grammophon.  His active chamber music schedule includes performances with Speculum Musicae, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the MET Chamber Ensemble.  He has performed and recorded Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 with the Philharmonia Virtuosi for SONY, and an album of trumpet and guitar music called Café 1930 for Angel/EMI.

Born in Queensland, Australia, William De Vos (horn) studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.  Graduating from QCM in 1999 with two degrees in music, Mr. De Vos was subsequently invited to perform principal horn with the Queensland Philharmonic, ABC Symphony and Australian Concert Orchestras.  He has also toured Australia and Asia with several notable ensembles including the Academy of St.Martin-in-the-Fields under Sir Neville Mariner.  In 2000, Mr. De Vos relocated to New York to embark on graduate studies at Purchase College, State University of New York.  Since then, he has become widely recognized as one of the most outstanding horn players of his generation.  Mr. De Vos is currently solo horn in the Broadway production of Belle Époque at the Lincoln Center Theatre in Manhattan.  He also performs with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York Virtuosi and Dicapo Opera Company, and in the Broadway productions of The Phantom of the Opera and La Boheme.

Jim Pugh (trombone) is Professor of Trombone at Purchase College, State University of New York. Former lead trombone and featured soloist with the Woody Herman Band, Mr. Pugh enjoys a distinguished career in the recording studios of New York City recording music for films, television, jingles and CDs.  The numerous film soundtracks Mr. Pugh has recorded include Primary Colors, Beauty and the Beast, When Harry Met Sally, A Chorus Line and The Cotton Club.  Mr. Pugh is principal trombone with the EOS Orchestra and Concordia Chamber Orchestra in New York, and frequently performs as guest principal with St. Luke's Orchestra, 92nd Street Y Orchestra, Orpheus Ensemble and Speculum Musicae.  A founding member of GABE, he is also a member of the New York Trombone Quartet and a recipient of the US National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences ‘Virtuoso Award’ for his contribution to the music industry as a trombonist.

Tour Dates

Wed 16 Feb    Roscrea                      Roscrea Castle

Thurs 17 Feb   Dublin                         Coach House, Dublin Castle

Sat 19 Feb       Bray                     Mermaid Arts Centre

Sun 20 Feb      Ballina                        St Michael’s Church of Ireland

Wed 23 Feb    Clifden                    Alcock & Brown Hotel

Thurs 24 Feb   Castlebar                 Linenhall Arts Centre

Fri 25 Feb        Sligo                            Model Arts and Niland Gallery

"In Graham Ashton’s superlative realisations, no one can resist his spell."

- The Guardian