- Brass Ensemble
Septura brings together London’s leading players to redefine brass chamber music through the uniquely expressive sound of the brass septet.
By creating a canon of transcriptions, arrangements and new commissions for this brand new classical configuration, Septura aims to re-cast the brass ensemble as a serious artistic medium.
Currently Ensemble in Residence at the Royal Academy of Music, London, the group is recording a series of 10 discs for Naxos Records, each focused on a particular period, genre and set of composers, creating a ‘counter-factual history’ of brass chamber music.
The first six discs have received critical acclaim, described variously as “irresistible” (Fiona Maddocks, The Observer), “dazzlingly polished” (Anna Picard, BBC Music Magazine) and “brass playing at its most exalted” (Robert Markow, Fanfare). In addition, Christmas with Septura was released in November 2016, and Septura’s unique version of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker will be released in late 2019.
Weaving this ever-increasing repertoire into captivating live events, Septura is gaining a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and imaginative programming. In 2018-19 the group performed at festivals and venues around the UK and Europe, as well as touring to New Zealand and Japan. Highlights of the 2019-20 season will include a UK Christmas tour, a second tour across the US, and Septura’s debut at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Septura’s members are the leading players of the new generation of British brass musicians, holding principal positions in the London Symphony, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Basel Symphony and Aurora orchestras.
Philip Cobb, Trumpet
Philip is Principal Trumpet of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, having previously held the same position in the London Symphony Orchestra from the age of 21. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and regularly performs as a soloist at venues such as London’s Royal Albert Hall.
A fourth-generation Salvationist, Phil comes from a family that is intrinsically linked with Salvation Army music making at its highest level, and whilst a student he was a member of the world-famous International Staff Band.
Phil is passionate about film music, and he can be heard on the following recent soundtracks: Harry Potter, Twilight – New Moon, The Pirates, Shrek, A Better Life, Rise of the Guardians, Beauty and the Beast, Angry Birds, 42 and The Monuments Men.
Simon Cox, Founder & Artistic Director, Trumpet
Simon is Principal Trumpet of Aurora Orchestra, and regularly performs with many of the UK’s major orchestras. Following studies at King’s College London and the Royal Academy of Music, he spent three years in Finland as a member of the Helsinki Philharmonic. Throughout his time abroad he felt an increasing desire to perform chamber music, so he eventually returned to the UK to embark on a PhD at the Royal Academy of Music, investigating the field of brass chamber music and developing repertoire for the brass septet, a brand new classical configuration.
Simon founded Septura in 2012 and runs the group with fellow artistic director Matthew Knight. He produces many of Septura’s arrangements, and handles most of the group’s administration.
Alan Thomas, Trumpet
Alan has been Principal Trumpet of the BBC Symphony Orchestra since 2013. Previously he was Principal Trumpet of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2004–2013.
Alan is a Professor of Trumpet at Royal College of Music and Trumpet Tutor at the Birmingham Conservatoire, where he was awarded a fellowship in 2012. He is an alumnus of both institutions.
In any spare time Alan enjoys running, adventure races, going to British Military Fitness classes, holidays and spending time with his wife and children.
Matthew Knight, Artistic Director, Trombone
Matthew Knight is Co-Principal Trombone of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, where he also serves as Vice-Chairman. He has performed with almost all of the UK orchestras, and frequently appears as a guest principal with orchestras including the London Philharmonic, London Symphony and Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Previously a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, he studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London, having graduated with a starred first in Music from Cambridge University. He teaches at the Royal College of Music.
As well as arranging for Septura, Matthew writes the group’s concert programme notes, and the sleeve notes for the Naxos recordings.
Matthew Knight plays S.E. Shires trombones.
Peter Moore, Trombone
Since moving to London in 2005, bass trombonist Daniel West has established himself as a busy and versatile freelance musician. Born in Canada, Dan studied at the University of North Texas and Royal Academy of Music before embarking on a career which has seen him work with all of London’s major orchestras, as well as many leading orchestras around the UK and Europe. Dan is a prominent contrabass trombonist, and is frequently recorded on both instruments for film and television. In 2015 Dan joined the orchestra in the long-running production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End.
Dan plays C.G. Conn trombones & Vincent Bach trombone mouthpieces.
Sasha Koushk-Jalali, Tuba
Sasha Koushk-Jalali studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and is now much in demand as a freelance tuba player in London.