2015 News Archive

2015 Monk Awardee - Wim Becu

3/10 - The HBS is pleased to announce that the 2015 recipient of the Christopher Monk Award is to be the trombonist Wim Becu. The selection committee recognized the contribution that Becu has made to further the aims of the Society though his period instrument performances and recordings in a wide range of repertoires. More information about Wim Becu’s work can be found at http://www.concertopalatino.com/Wim_Becu.html and http://www.oltremontano.com/

12/8 - update: we have posted pictures of Wim receiving his award (above left) and Wim with Jeff Nussbaum and Trevor Herbert (above right).

2015 EMAP Conference Report


12/18 - Jeremy Sexton has written up a report on the 2015 European Music Archaeology Project. The report can be read here: 2015 EMAP conference report.docx. Pictured left: Peter Holmes discussing a salphinx. Pictured right: Gabriele Cassone demonstrating some Baroque trumpet techniques. 

IGEB (International Society for the Promotion and Research of Wind Music)

Proposals for papers or lecture-performances are invited for the 22nd conference on wind music of the International Society for the Promotion and Research of Wind Music (IGEB) to be held in Oberwölz, Austria, July 21-26, 2016.

The deadline for proposals is January 29, 2016

Papers focusing on the theme of the conference, “Wind Music in Society” are especially invited, but papers on any aspect of wind music and research in progress are welcome. The lectures can represent the entire field of humanities in relation to wind music: musicology, ethnology, philosophy, sociology, and educational sciences. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes, leaving 10 minutes for discussion. Papers will be considered for future publication in the Alta Musica series. Researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts of works in progress.

Send a one-page abstract to Doris Schweinzer <doris.schweinzer -at- kug.ac.at>.  Registration materials and further information may be found at http://www.igeb.net and the IGEB Mitteilungsblatt.

Oberwölz, the historic smallest City of Styria, Austria, will for the second time host an IGEB conference from Thursday July 21 (arrival) to Tuesday July 26, 2016 (departure). Those who attended the 2004 meeting will undoubtedly fondly remember visiting the Austrian Band Music Museum located in this city.

The winner of the IGEB Research Award (formerly the Thelen prize), awarded to the scholar having completed an outstanding doctoral dissertation in the field of wind music within the last five years, will be asked to present a paper on his/her research.

Ralph Bryant 1943-2015


10/26 - Ralph Bryant was one of the unsung heroes of the early brass community. Born in North Adams, Massachusetts, he studied music and German at Washington University in St. Louis. After service in the Army Band at West Point, he went to Munich on a scholarship to study musicology. In 1971 he was appointed assistant solo trumpet of the Zurich Tonhalle and Theater Orchestra (now: Orchestra of the Zurich Opera), a position he held for over thirty years. In Zurich he performed on cornett and baroque trumpet in the legendary cycle of Monteverdi operas conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. With the Concentus Musicus Wien under Harnoncourt’s direction, he participated in a number of recordings for the Teldec Bach cantata cycle. Moreover, in the mid-1970s he played second trumpet to Edward Tarr on what was possibly the first recording of Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Trumpets on historical instruments (albeit accompanied by a modern chamber orchestra). Ralph was also a talented woodworker whose baroque-trumpet mutes are still very much sought-after. Ralph Bryant died on 3 September 2015 in Männedorf near Zurich.


11/15 - The next ANIMUSIC (National Association for Musical Instruments - Portugal) conference will be held 18-20 December 2015 in Tavira-Algarve, Portugal. For those wishing to present, the call for submissions deadline is 20 October. Further information, including registration, transportation, etc, is available by following this link.

Indiana Sackbut Workshop

8/26 - The 4th Indiana Sackbut Workshop will take place from Thursday, October 29th to Monday, November 2nd at Waycross Conference Center in Morgantown, IN. This year, we will be focusing on the rich German wind band or "Stadtpfeiffer" tradition of the 15th and 16th centuries. Sessions will focus on sackbut technique and repertoire, discussions on performance practice, and small ensemble playing sessions (combined with participants of the early double reed workshop running concurrently). The main focus of this workshop (and perhaps biggest challenge) will be use of original sources. While modern editions of some of the music will be available, the main body of repertoire will be provided in original notation.  Of course, information packets and guides will accompany the manuscript as an aid.

For a more complete description of the classes and events to take place during the workshop, please follow this link: http://earlymusicinmotion.org/sackbut-class-description/. Click here for information concerning registration and fees: http://earlymusicinmotion.org/workshop/sackbut-workshop/register/. Questions can be directed to Adam Bregman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Juan Carlos Arango (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), the workshop's coordinator. Anyone interested should sign up as soon as possible in order to have adequate time to become acquainted with and prepare the repertoire. All of the materials will be available to those registered as of September 1st.

HBS Session at EMAP Event

8/5 - The European Music Archaeology Project (EMAP) under the direction of Stefano Di Angeli, and Peter Holmes,  will present a 3 day event on ancient brass instrument in Viterbo, Italy on November 11-13, 2015. The HBS will present a lecture session on November 13th and will include Jeff Nussbaum, session chair, Cabriele Cassone, Keith Polk, Chris Hasselbring, Kirsty Montgomery, Jeremy Montagu, and Annemies Tamboer. 

EMAP commissioned a number of instrument makers to copy ancient brass instruments that will be demonstrated at this event. They will include; the Tintignac Carnyx, Loughnashade Iron-age horn, Etruscan Cornua and Litui from the Tomba dei Riliervi in Cerveteri, Italy, Roman cornua from Pompeii, Roman Tubae from iconography on Trajan's column, Tutankhamun's silver and copper trumpets, Boston Salpinx, Drumbest horns from Northern Ireland, Tattershall ferry Carnyx,  Pian di Civita Etruscan lituus, Etruscan and Greek salpingi, Gullakra lur, Huseby lurs.

The conference website is http://www.emaproject.eu/events/conferences.html#brassinstruments. For further information on the HBS papers involved (abstracts, etc.) click here. (link updated 9/28/15)

Early Brass Mouthpiece Maker

6/29 - Cornetto player Sam Goble is making early brass mouthpieces including cornetto, natural trumpet, serpent, ophicliede, and sackbut: www.samgoble.com.

Cornetto Maker

6/29 - Andrew Hallock of the Netherlands is making a wide range of beautiful cornetti including A=440 and A=465 cornetts, mute cornetts, and tenors. See www.hallock-cornetti.com.

Gunther Schuller 1925-2015

6/22 - It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of Gunther Schuller, a great musician, composer, and musicologist who was also the 2005 HBS Monk awardee. Many of our members will no doubt remember his presentations at past HBS conferences. A news story from NPR on his life can be read (and heard) by clicking here.

Natural Trumpet Class in Switzerland, August 2015

3/24 - Mike Diprose will be leading a "risk free" natural trumpet class (no vent holes) in Switzerland this August. Details are available by following this link.

Call for Papers: European Music Archaeology Project

The Historic Brass Society has been invited to give three sessions on Friday, November 13, 2015,  the penultimate day of a four day conference in Viterbo, Italy. The conference more generally is the finale of a European wide project in the Ancient Brass Project segment of EMAP a project devoted to musical archaeology. Further on the conference see: http://www.emaproject.eu/

It may be helpful to think of the HBS sessions as a colloquium within the conference that is both complementary to and integrated with it. Proposals for presentations should address one or both of two broad topics: 1) Brass musical instruments in antiquity. 2) Transitions and interpretations of brass instruments between antiquity and post-antiquity eras. These may include apparent references to instruments between antiquity and the middle ages and renaissance, and the interpretations of brass instruments of antiquity in later times.These themes may be interpreted freely and approached from the perspective of iconography, organology or any other branch of musical and cultural history. The term "brass instruments" should be taken to mean lip vibrated instrument.

Proposals should be of no more than 300 words in length. They should contain a brief outline of content and the perspective/s from which it will be addressed (iconography, historical musicology, organology etc). The proposals should be for a paper of 20 or 30 minutes (excluding discussions) and the length of paper that is proposed should be mentioned in the proposal.

Proposals should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to arrive no later than June 16 2015. The conclusions of the program committee will be communicated by 1 July 2015. Presenters will have the conference fees waived for the entire four day conference.

HBS Early Brass Festival 2015 Information

The HBS  Early Brass Festival will be held at Oberlin College, July 10-12, 2015.

Housing and Registration (different this year!)

EBF registration, dorm room charges, and meal plan charges need to be made in advance. All checks should be payable to: Historic Brass Society and sent to: HBS, 148 West 23rd Street #5F, New York, NY 10011 USA.

Dorm rooms in the Harvey/Kade Halls are $32 per night. Note, No A/C, lines included. Fan rental available for the weekend, $10 deposit ($5 return upon return of fan).

Indiana Sackbut Workshop

2/16 - The third Indiana Sackbut Workshop will take place from Thursday, April 23rd - Monday, April 27th at Waycross Conference Center in Morgantown, IN. The theme this year, continued from the fall, is 16th- and early 17th-century music from the Iberian Peninsula. Sessions will focus on sackbut technique and repertoire, discussions on performance practice and small and large ensemble playing sessions (combined with participants of the early double reed workshop happening concurrently). There will be no specific solo repertoire this time around. Instead, we will be focusing more on the application of ornaments to actual music, taking a closer look at why, when and where we ornament.

Click here for more information. If you have any specific questions about workshop, please feel free to contact Adam Bregman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Juan Carlos Arango (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The Third Vienna Talk on Music Acoustics

2/22 - The upcoming 3rd Vienna Talk on Music Acoustics, an international symposium organised by the Institute of Music Acoustics (Wiener Klangstil) in association with the TCMA of the EAA and co-sponsored by ICA, ASA, ESCOM, HBS and AMIS, is fast approaching. The meeting will take place from 16–19 September 2015 on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of our institute at the downtown campus of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria.

We want to address scientists, researchers, musicians, makers, and conservators of musical instruments. The idea, “Bridging the Gaps”, means to focus on the dialogue between the aforementioned groups. Scientists will be encouraged to present their papers in a generally understandable way, and instrument makers and musicians will be able to communicate their observations, hypotheses and problems to an interested scientific audience. This way, research might be directed towards new questions, while manufacturers, musicians, instrument conservators and collectors will have the opportunity to find answers and get access to new methods and tools.

Those interested in submitting a paper or session proposal should follow the instructions posted on the conference website: http://viennatalk2015.mdw.ac.at/?page_id=5000. The deadline for submissions is March 1. 2/25: the deadlines have been extended given that the original one provided too short a notice. The new deadlines are: Full papers (4-8 pages) intended for peer-review by March 22, 300-word abstracts by April 12th, and session proposals by April 12.