2005 Edition: Simon Lenton & Angela Whelan (trumpets), Chris Parkes (horn), Katy Pryce (trombone), Sam Elliott (tuba)
Fine Arts Brass Ensemble (= FAB) is the longest-lived, the most innovative, the most widely travelled and the most highly acclaimed British Brass Ensemble. FAB has given more than 2,500 concerts since its inception in 1980, and has played in more than 60 countries, often representing the British Council.
FAB has appeared at every major British Music Festival, and many more worldwide. We have commissioned over 50 new works from a variety of contemporary composers. This initiative continues with a major new work composed for us in 2003 from Michael Torke and the commissioning of new pieces from Sylvie Bodorova (Leamington Festival, May 2004), Eddie McGuire (Carlisle International Festival, July 2004) and John McLeod (ECAT, Autumn 2004). Fine Arts Brass are also planning a national education project in 2004-2005 with Julian Nott (composer of the music for the Wallace and Gromit animation films).
FAB's variety is emphasised by its performances on BBC Radio. It has given its own series of light entertainment shows on Radios 2 and 4 and has broadcast regularly for Radio 3. This diversity of styles has led to performances in unusual venues, such as Under the Mango Tree at the Bagamoyo Festival, Tanzania; Zanzibar Spice Market; Bangladeshi Customs and Dar Es Salaam Bus Station. FAB has given master-classes, school concerts, and demonstrations across the world, from Namibia to Cheltenham, Hong Kong to Neehan, Wisconsin.
Having already made a large number of recordings for various companies, FAB now has an ongoing relationship with Nimbus Records. We recently released a CD called An A - Z of Jazz. Our next CD will be the Complete Brass Chamber Music of Sir Malcolm Arnold which will be released by the Autumn of 2005. It is also hoped that FAB will finally be able to release the long awaited West Side Story and Igor Stravinsky Suites by the end of 2005/beginning of 2006. After that the FAB will get to work recording some of the wonderful music that has been written for them since 1980. There are so many great pieces by so many great composers - all reflecting the diversity of modern composition - that FAB will have to release these over several volumes. FAB is pleased to be associated with Smith-Watkins trumpets and Nimbus Records.