He was a trumpeter born in the Rhondda Valley, Glamorgan, Wales.
He started playing the cornet for a local brass band when he was just 9 years old which would lead him to playing the trumpet in his high school orchestra. In 1950 he was a member of the regional youth orchestra, in 1951 he was the principal trumpeter for the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and in 1953 was awarded a scholarship at London’s Royal Academy of Music.
In 1954 he was called upon to perform his National Service and he entered the Royal Engineers Band as their Principal Cornet and Trumpet. During his time in attendance at the Royal Academy of Music and after graduation he became member of several outstanding British orchestras such as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra .
During the 1960s he appeared with several ensembles such as the Welsh Opera Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and worked on several soundtracks for the film and television industry.
In 1974 he accepted the position of Principal Trumpet with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and remained in that position for twenty years before relinquishing the position to Paul Beniston in 1994 in order that he could take more of a relaxed position but still remain performing. He happily continued playing in the trumpet section of the orchestra until illness prevented him from carrying on in 2004.
Regularly appearing on the London Philharmonic’s recordings he was acclaimed for his trumpet solo on the 1988 live recording of Mahler’s 5th Symphony and has also featured on Bernstein Narrates Bernstein: The Holocaust Remembered, Shostakovich: Symphonies No. 2 and 10/Haitink, Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue. Other recordings also include Classics for Brass and Music from the Royal Court with the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble .
Here’s the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble giving a performance on their Classics for Brass…