Trumpet Concerto (Alexander Arutiunian) – Chris Avison and University of Manchester Brass Band
Trumpet Chris Avison
Conductor Jonathan Evans
Alexander Arutiunian is ranked among the most important Armenian composers in his generation alongside Aram Khachaturian. The melodic and rhythmic characteristics of Armenian folk music are a strong influence in Arutiunian’s work and his trumpet concerto, written in 1950, showcases his approachable style. The concerto was quickly assimilated into the standard trumpet repertoire worldwide, earning the highest international praise from audiences, critics and performers. It is exotically colourful exhibiting many folk like traits and lyrical melodies. Although a single unbroken movement, the concerto falls into two fast sections, separated by a slower section. The introduction opens with a series of dramatic statements by the band, to which the trumpet makes its equally dramatic replies. The first section is fast and furious, frequently broken up into unexpectedly irregular rhythms. Initially, this section features the virtuoso agility of the soloist, but eventually culminates in a dramatic and noble theme for the full ensemble. The second section is quiet and lyrical, evoking a serene beauty. The final section returns to the same wild dance with which the work opened. After a brilliant cadenza fanfare for the soloist, it concludes with a brief, dramatic statement leading to an exciting finish.
Chris Avison — Trumpet
Chris is a post-graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he graduated his Master of Arts degree with distinction and was also awarded the Diploma of the Royal Academy of Music which is for an outstanding performance in his final recital. He is also a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff where he completed his Bachelor of Music degree.
Chris has had professional tuition from James Watson, Rod Franks, Robert Farley, Mark David, John Hutchins, Philippe Schartz, Daniel Newell, Ross Brown, Paul Beniston and Paul Archibald and has performed in master-classes with Reinhold Friedrich, Eric Aubier, Malcolm McNab, Crispian Steele-Perkins, Derek Watkins, Canadian Brass, Boston Brass, Onxy Brass and Fine Arts Brass.
An experienced performer, Chris has performed with many professional organisations and ensembles, performed on several recordings, including his début solo CD, Dragons’ Rise, in July 2011 accompanied by Marylebone Brass, and has also had the honour of playing for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on two occasions.
Since graduating he has already been seen as guest principal trumpet of the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as gaining a trial for the position of principal trumpet with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Despite having a busy performance schedule, Chris also enjoys teaching the trumpet to students and is currently one of the brass teachers at the John Lyon School in Harrow. He also has a passion for delivering outreach concerts to school children to try and inspire them to take up a musical instrument and in September 2010 organised a concert at the Royal Academy of Music that featured the Symphonic Brass Ensemble, conducted by Professor James Watson, which was attended by 150 children from schools in the Camden area. As well as this, he also leads outreach sessions for the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
Chris has performed at countless functions including weddings, corporate events and graduation ceremonies in ensembles and as a soloist. He also runs the Inner City Brass Quintet, a young ensemble that is quickly on the rise in and around London.
Winning awards and competitions from a young age, Chris has more recently been featured as a soloist performing the Haydn Trumpet Concerto, Bach’s Brandenburg No. 2 and today The Arutiunian Trumpet Concerto.