So many famous and influential musicians got their early experience and training with ERSO. Here are just a few….
Did you know that James Galway was one of our famous former members before he became the Man with the Golden Flute!
Another famous wind player who gained experience with ERSO was Jack Brymer, the legendary clarinettist who inspired a generation to take up the instrument. But he didn’t plan to be a professional musician and initially trained and worked as a PE teacher. His life was transformed when a report of his playing in ERSO reached Sir Thomas Beecham via Dennis Brain, another ERSO player, as Beecham was looking to fill the principal clarinet role at the RPO. Brymer thought it was a friend playing a trick when he got the call! Of course he got the job and started to make clarinet history.
Manoug Parikian, the British concert violinist and admired teacher at the Royal Academy of Music .
He led several orchestras including the Liverpool Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra and championed contemporary composers, many of whom wrote works for him: including Thea Musgrave’s Colloquy and Gordon Crosse’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Benjamin Britten also composed a cadenza to Mozart’s Adagio for Violin and Orchestra for him and was assisted by Parikian when revising the solo part of his own violin concerto.
Cecil Aronowitz, the British viola player who was a founding member of the Melos Ensemble, a leading chamber musician and teacher at the Royal College of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music. At ERSO he was a member of the second violins but after the war he switched to the viola.
Benjamin Britten wrote many viola parts with Aronowitz in mind, particularly in his chamber operas, and the chamber music in his War Requiem was written for the Melos Ensemble.
Francis Baines, one of Britain’s most accomplished classical double-bass players. He was a member of the London Philharmonic, a professor at the Royal College of Music, and a great friend of Malcolm Arnold.
A colourful character, he was prone to keep his instrument in a left-luggage locker at Victoria Station because he had no room for it at home!
And finally, SIEGFRIED OF THE HORN, which is what Sir Thomas Beecham called Dennis Brain, the British virtuoso horn player who was largely credited for popularizing the horn as a solo classical instrument with the post-war British public. He produced what many still consider to be the definitive recordings of Mozart’s horn concerti.
We’re proud to say that during the 1937/38 season Dennis was the third horn at ERSO. He joined age 16, introduced by older brother Leonard (an oboist) with the words “He’s been playing the horn for only a couple of years. He can do things as well as Dad can already!” As Dad was Aubrey Brain, Principal Horn at the BBC Symphony Orchestra, this was a sign of the great things to come!