The 47th Annual International Trumpet Guild Conference
Brian Evans – ITG Award of Merit
Brian Evans (trumpet/cornet/voice)began his 62 years in music playing the banjo mandolin at age seven, and took up the tenor horn in his school band at age twelve. While attending Sydney Boys’ High School under band director Cliff Goodchild (former tubist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and father of Paul Goodchild) he studied trumpet with Alan Mann and Arthur Stender. He attended Sydney University in 1972, studying with John Battersby at the Sydney Conservatorium. In 1973 aged 19, he joined the Eastern Command Band (now the Australian Army Band Sydney) as principal cornet, and in 1974 went into the Australian Broadcasting Corporation National Training Orchestra (NTO) for fourteen important months of education under Gordon Webb and the NTO conductor, Robert Miller.
Evans, at 21, joined the Opera Australian Orchestra (OAO) in 1975. During his lengthy tenure with the orchestra, which ended when his position was abolished due to Covid cut backs in 2020, he has played every chair in the section but specialized as Principal Cornet, becoming one of the most respected orchestral cornetists of his era. (In recent years, he has also returned to brass banding, after a hiatus of 40 years, performing solo cornet with premier A grade band, Australian Champion, Sydney City Brass) He has also performed with most of the major ensembles in Sydney, and has worked as a commercial, jazz, and chamber musician. Since being retrenched, Evans has continued to be engaged by OA on short term contracts.
Across almost 50 years performing with Opera Australia (OA) at the Sydney Opera House he has covered a vast range of opera and ballet repertoire, especially enjoying principal and solo roles in works such as A midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten); Don Carlos and other multiple “Verdis”; Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev); numerous Tchaikovsky ballets; Die Meistersingers von Nuremberg and the world premiere season of Madeline Lee (Haddock) . He appears on most OA and some Australian Ballet recordings and videos and has worked under conductors including Richard Bonynge; Edward Downes; Sir David Wilcox; Richard Hickox; Carlo Felice Cillario; Willem van Otterloo; Stuart Challender; John Pritchard; Mark Elder; Elgar Howarth and Christopher Hogwood…
The range of singers include: Dame Joan Sutherland; Luciano Pavarotti; Norman Bailey, Donald Mcintyre; Marylyn Horne; Grace Bumbry; Leona Mitchell; Anna Netrebko; Jonas Kaufman; John Shaw; Donald Shanks; Joan Carden; Donald Smith; Marylyn Richardson…
He was a regular member of Opera Australia Brass (OAB) which performed in many combinations from quintet through to large brass ensemble. Scheduling has curtailed OAB’s activity in recent years. He also played lead trumpet in Opera Horns, an ad hoc big band formed out of orchestra players and some managers.
Evans demonstrated his love for the experience of being a pit musician in his ITG2003 lecture “The Operatic Trumpet”.
NEW MUSIC CAMPAIGN
In 1975 he performed the Australian premiere of the Concerto for Trumpet and Brass Band by Gareth Wood and since that time has encouraged, performed and championed many new works for brass, including Australia, Japan, USA and World premieres. To further his championing of new music and brass recitals in general, he formed Trio Australis with OAO principal trombonist and composer, Gregory van der Struik, and leading collaborative pianist, John Martin, which insists on programming works by living composers from recent years.
His commitment to new music was on show when he hosted and curated the 2010 ITG conference which featured around 40 world premieres, including a new opera. At ITG2013, his recital featured 7 Australian works by living composers, many pieces were US premieres.
Most recently, his dedication has been rewarded with compositions by Robert Bradshaw and Gregory Pascuzzi, for tenor and trumpet which Evans will premiere at this conference – in both roles, of course.
As a high lyric tenor, Evans took vocal lessons from the late Hector P. Tinkler, in Sydney and in Chicago with late Norman Gulbrandsen. (Northwestern and De Paul Universities, Chicago). He currently studies voice with Noemi Nadelman and sings more in a spinto/high baritone style. His experience includes opera, oratorio, and recitals. As a vocalist he has performed with Opera Australia, Opera Mode, Sydney Philharmonia, Gosford Philharmonia, Chicago Opera Theater, Lincoln Opera (Chicago), Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Chicago, and held the position of tenor soloist at Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago. Of further interest is his having performed as both tenor and trumpet soloist in Handel’s Messiah in the same performances. He is highly decorated in eisteddfod including being a semi-finalist in the Sun Aria (1983) and the winner of the Parramatta Aria (1989).
Evans brought his vocal experience to ITG 2005 when he presented “A Singer’s Approach to Trumpet Playing”.
SERVICE TO ITG AND ATG
Brian Evans is founder(1998) and continuing president of the Australian Trumpet Guild.
He acts as board chair and acting editor of the ATG Quarterly journal “Mouthpiece”, which he created 2023 will see its 25th Volume published. He organized events for ATG in 1998; 1999; 2004; 2006; 2012 and curated concert sessions at the Sydney International Brass Festival, representing ATG, in 2012 and 2013.
He served on the board of directors of the International Trumpet Guild (2001-2019 including as secretary (2007-11), vice-president 2013-2015, President (2015-2017) Past president (2017-2019). During his time on the ITG board, Evans served as the Australia-New Zealand membership coordinator and news correspondent; and on the initial two Conference Artist Committees; rules committee; strategic planning committee; finance committee, NPP committee; and was the ITG2005 Orchestral Excerpts Chair.
He created the first “In Memoriam” event for the 2015 conference, including curating the first In Memoriam concert and assembling a video presentation for same. https://trumpetguild.org/content/videos/770. He continued being active until late 2019 and is still assisting Hyungbin A. Jung to find this sad news as it becomes public.
He is a past contributor to the ITG journal in diverse subjects including, most recently, about his 2016 experiences with arteriosclerosis. In a related activity, he was an active contributor to The Brass Herald, prior to the untimely death of Philip Biggs.
Evans is a partner level donor to ITG Legacy Foundation and hosted the award winning 2010 ITG Conference at the Sydney Conservatorum. http://www.trumpetguild.org/2010conference/2010conference/index.html featuring 75 sessions in five days and boasting around 40 world premiere performances.
TEACHING AND INTERNATIONAL
An active soloist and clinician, Brian Evans has performed and lectured throughout the world. He was a featured artist or presenter at the 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2016 ITG and 2008 China Trumpet Guild conferences and has performed as guest soloist with the Hornsby Girls High School touring band in China, Europe, LA/San Diego and Tokyo as well as with the Honolulu Community Concert Band in their 2006 Sydney Opera House appearance. When in Tohyo he presented a short recital and a master class at the Kunitachi University. 2016. He was artist in residence at the Brisbane Conservatorium, Griffith University and has taught at several private schools in Sydney, was adjunct tutor in trumpet at the Wesley Institute, teaching undergrad students and maintains a private teaching studio with students from beginner to post graduate and comeback player levels.
He is listed in Bibl.: Keim, Friedel. Das große Buch der Trompete (Schott); and Trumpet Greats, (Hickman Music editions) “Brian Evans” Further information: www.thebrassstudio.com