A Tribute to a Legend: Maurice MurphyNov 18 2000 
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Maurice Murphy
On October 16, 2000, the UK brass world paid tribute to one of the world's foremost trumpet virtuosi, Maurice Murphy, principal trumpeter of London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), on the occasion of his retirement. The event took place in Barbican Hall, London, where the LSO Brass Ensemble, LSO Chamber Ensemble, Williams Fairey Band, LSO Big Band, and numerous guest stars all contributed to an astounding celebration. All performers donated their services, and the box office profits were donated to the Ronald Moore Sickness & Benevolent Fund founded in 1968 to support LSO-members unable to work while sick.

Maurice Murphy was born in 1935, and started his studies on the cornet from age 6. His father, a member of the local Salvation Army Band, was his first teacher. At age 12 he became the All Junior Champion Cornet Soloist. Later he would hold the Solo Cornet position with Black Dyke Mills Band. In 1961 he was appointed Principal Trumpet of the BBC Northern Orchestra, and accepted the Principal Trumpet chair in London Symphony Orchestra in 1976. His dedication to the highest standards of playing on the concert platform has been balanced off stage by an abiding interest in the well being of his friends and colleagues.

With his heroic sound, his strength, and his tenderness, he has caught the attention of countless listeners. Through decades he has also performed the spectacular trumpet parts on films like: Superman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Brassed Off. Diverse artists as Tom Jones and Icelandic Björk have also cited his competence, while André Previn describes him as an absolutely ideal player in the symphony orchestra setting.

The Williams Fairey Band
The LSO Brass Ensemble under Eric Crees opened the concert featuring LSO Principals in solos on trombone and horn. When the LSO Chamber Ensemble under Sir Colin Davis came on stage, Maurice Murphy moved the audience deeply with Copland's haunting Quiet City, then Murphy and Rod Franks played like twins in Vivaldi's Concerto in C for two trumpets.

After the intermission, the prize-winning Williams Fairey Brass Band, conducted by James Gourlay, featured trumpeter Rod Franks on trumpet in Joy Webb's Share my Yoke. Trumpeters Derek Watkins, Noel Langley, and Tony Fisher then called on hearts with We've Only Just Begun, Memories of You, and MacArthur Park, accompanied by the LSO Big Band.

The concert evening culminated in a standing ovation for Maurice Murphy.

Source: Vera Hørven


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