Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Artist Spotlight - Trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins

Crispian Steele-Perkins
Crispian Steele-Perkins is unquestionably one of the worlds most renowned trumpeters. His biography reads like the resume of several musicians as opposed to a singular trumpeter. The list of singers, classical and popular, that he has appeared with is remarkable including Kiri te Kanawa, Emma Kirkby, John Tomlinson, Bryn Terfel, Led Zeppelin, Kate Bush, Cliff Richard, Bob Geldof and Harry Secombe.  This list reflects an eclectic career that includes performing repertoire from Handel to Glenn Miller; Crispian can, for instance, be heard playing on the soundtracks of over 80 films from Jaws to The Life of Brian. He is treasured by fans of early music for his appearances with groups such as The Academy of Ancient Music, The Kings Consort and The English Baroque Soloists. Ahead of his appearance playing Bach with the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists and Yorkshire Bach Choir on Saturday 12 March we caught up with Crispian to ask him some questions about his music making and life. 

I’m guessing you’ve performed the Easter and Ascension Oratorios before, tell us more about how Bach writes for the trumpet in these particular pieces.
Bach never writes for the trumpet in the same way twice unless re-using material.  These two are amongst my favorites and I never cease to be amazed at the technical virtuosity that his players must have achieved at the time.

As a trumpeter, what are your 'Desert Island' pieces?
Maybe Hummel's Concerto in the correct key of E (not Eb) but I don't think there is yet a 100% satisfactory version on record.

What do you enjoy most about performing in York?
I like working with Peter Seymour and enjoy working with a fairly set team of excellent musicians. Nice audiences too !
Eddie Calvert 'Oh My Papa'

Is there any piece of music or repertoire that you haven’t had the opportunity to perform?
No. I love Handel's 'Occasional Oratorio' which rarely gets performed though.

As a youngster, did you ever have a eureka moment listening to or performing a certain piece of music?
As a 69 year old youngster I heard a Rumanian Gypsy Band - Eureka indeed !

What was the first ever record you bought?
'Oh My Papa' Eddie Calvert - 'The man with the golden trumpet'-

Who is the composer (dead or alive) that you’d most like to meet? 

What do you sing in the shower? 
I HATE showers and I can't sing for toffees.

What is your most treasured possession? 
An Antique Trumpet (several)

[Here is a gallery of Crispian's instruments on his personal website]

Crispian and one of his motorbikes
You're in a karaoke bar and (voluntarily or non-voluntarily) you have to sing or perform, what would you sing? 
I would have pity on the public and keep silent.

When you’re not practising or performing, how else do you like to
spend your time? 


We look forward to hearing Crispian in the exhilarating trumpet-led choruses of JS Bach Easter Oratorio (BWV 249) and Ascension Oratorio (BWV 11).  The concert will also include Bach Mass in G minor (BWV 235).  

The concert will take place in St Michael le Belfrey, York on Saturday 12 March and further details on the concert and how to buy tickets can be found at:

Further details on Crispian can be found on his website: