Pip Eastop, Horn player, Photographer, Trumpet player

Horn player, Photographer, Trumpet player

Pip Eastop Hornplayer Photographer Trumpetplayer

musicians

Anthony Halstead, a living legend.

How amazingly fortunate was I to have Anthony Halstead as conductor and producer of these recordings? Can you imagine? For me, working in collaboration with him on this whole project has been the greatest privilege of my life. Tony is a living legend and he is my friend and he is my teacher.

As horn player, harpsichordist and conductor Anthony Halstead has been an international leading figure throughout the modern “historically informed performance” (HIP) movement. He has made over over 50 recordings directing from the keyboard or conducting. These include Beethoven and Dvorak Violin Concertos, symphonies of JM Kraus, concertos by JH Roman, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, concertos by Vivaldi, the complete orchestral works of Johann Christian Bach, JH Roman’s ‘Drottningholm Music’ and Boccherini’s Cello Concertos.
In the UK he has conducted the English Chamber Orchestra, The Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, English Haydn Festival Orchestra, Highland Chamber Orchestra and East Anglia Chamber Orchestra.
Outside his work in the UK he makes regular return visits to conduct or direct in Scandinavia, The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand as well as making guest appearances worldwide for concerts or recordings.

Anthony Halstead made his first solo horn CD in 1986, recording Weber’s Concertino on the natural horn, with The Hanover Band, for the Nimbus Record Company. If you haven’t heard this legendary recording, you MUST seek it out! From a purely technical point of view it is off-the-scale of what is generally considered to be humanly possible …but it’s also beautiful, lyrical, musical playing of the highest order. To cap it all, the whole thing was done in just two complete takes of the whole work!

His other solo recordings include the Concertos by Joseph and Michael Haydn, and two separate sets, six years apart, of all the Mozart Concertos; one with The Hanover Band and one with The Academy of Ancient Music. On the modern horn he has recorded the Britten Serenade with the American tenor, Jerry Hadley.
He has been principal horn with the London Symphony Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, The Academy of Ancient Music, The English Concert, The Hanover Band and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

During the couple of years preceding the recording sessions I organised a lot of study time with Tony. We worked together in depth on such things as intonation and temperament, tempi, articulation, handstopping techniques, concepts of phrasing, cadenza style, and much more. One day I asked him why the end of the first movement of K417 seemed so disappointing, musically speaking. He told me it was simply because Mozart had never finished the movement himself and that if he had there would undoubtedly be much more of a satisfyingly virtuosic flourish and space for a cadenza. It took Tony just a few minutes to sketch out an improved, much more Mozart-like, version (entirely replacing the final section of in Barenreiter edition we were using) and we were so pleased with it that we decided to keep it in for the recording.

Any hand-horn player attempting to perform or record Mozart’s solo horn works needs one essential but sometimes fragile and elusive ingredient: CONFIDENCE. Without it one has no chance at all. I was aware at all times that Tony was taking great care to support and encourage me. For this, and for lending his musical genius and experience to the whole recording project and for his constant kindness and generosity of spirit, I owe him a profound debt of gratitude.


I knew the great Kenny Wheeler.

 

I took this photo from the audience during a a birthday concert for Kenny in 2005 at Queen Elizabeth Hall. It was too grainy and messy to leave as a “normal” photo but with a bit of manipulation it has become nice and clear. Kenny is with John Parricelli (guitar), Dave Holland, (bass) and Lee Konitz on sax.


I am proud to say that I knew Kenny Wheeler. I used to live not far from his house. When I first heard him up close playing flugelhorn solos on a tour with Peter Erskine’s band, maybe 12 years ago, I was so knocked out with the unforgettable rosy warmth of his sound and his inventive, original playing style that I started learning jazz trumpet. I very much enjoyed getting to know him – he was a very kind, gentle and softly-spoken man. Ken kindly lent me first a flugelhorn (the gorgeous copper-coloured Kanstul he had played on the tour), then a trumpet (a brilliant Smith-Watkins with a pile of interchangeable lead pipes) and later sold both to me at extremely generously low prices – out of embarrassment I had to give him more than he asked. I pestered him for lessons but he was so self-effacing and unassuming that he wouldn’t agree to teach me. We played together quite a lot, though. Mostly in his study in his and Doreen’s tiny house in Leytonstone and once at The Vortex where we played some duos on horn and flugel – and on flugel and trumpet. Evan Parker was there, too, and we played a crazy trio about which I remember nothing due perhaps to free-jazz-induced concussion. Always, whenever I played with Kenny a loud voice in my head kept telling me “this is unreal”, or, “Wow – look at me – I’m actually playing with Kenny Wheeler!” It was a privilege and an honour.

The news of his death is very sad for me and for everyone who knew him, and his departure is a great loss for all of us who loved his playing and his music. He was both a dedicated instrumentalist and a prolific composer. I was particularly inspired by his practice regime; my impression – not that he would ever say – was that he practiced the trumpet for at least three hours every day – and this was during his eighties! As a result he had chops of steel and never lost his ability to play with a huge, rich sound and swoop up into the extremely high register at any point in that idiosyncratic way of his.
He was absolutely full of music and he was world-famous for it. Strangely, he was less well known in his home country, England, than he was in the US and Europe – so don’t be too worried if you are not all that familiar with his name. To get an idea of how creatively prolific he was take a look  here at his discography. Who else has made 61  albums?
Bye bye Kenny Wheeler. You will be missed. You were, and are, a musical legend.


Katy Woolley

Welcome to Katy!
She’s new. She’s the brilliant new principal horn in the Philharmonia Orchestra. She’s fun and funny and as bright as a brand new penny – and a great new colleague.
This is her during a session at Abbey Road Studio.

 

 


Byron Fulcher in Royal Albert Hall dressing room.

I shot this one of Byron just a few minutes before he went onstage to play Berio’s “Sequenza V” for solo trombone.


Karen Jones, flute

Virtuoso flutist, Karen Jones, in camera for “The Rest Is Noise”. At Henry Wood Hall, London, with London Sinfonietta.


Through an harp

Vicci Wardman (viola), Tim Gill (‘cello )and Helen Tunstall (harp).


Byron Fulcher in rehearsal at Royal Albert Hall, London

Byron Fulcher in rehearsal at Royal Albert Hall, London, for his BBC Promenade Concerts performance of Berio's "Sequenza V" for solo trombone.

In preparation for his BBC Promenade Concerts performance of Berio’s “Sequenza V” for solo trombone.


Enno Senft – bass player with London Sinfonietta

Enno Senft – bass player with London Sinfonietta


Zak Eastop ( a son of mine)

Zak with his new facial implants.

My son, Zak …although in reality he doesn’t look much like this. I’ve stretched his face about in various directions to make him look like a psychopathic testosterone-fuelled clown.
You might think he would object to this, being a rather good-looking lad in real life, but no – he’s used this photo for his Facebook profile!

Zak’s own website is currently under construction at http://zak.eastop.net


Horn section of John Wilson Orchestra

Here are Nick Hougham, Tim Ball and Chris Parkes – my hornplaying chums in the John Wilson Orchestra.


John Wilson Orchestra Showcase at EMI Studios, Abbey Road.

Here’s Sir John during rehearsal for a blistering display of MGM gems. Carousel, Sound of Music and others.


John Wilson Orchestra Showcase at EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Nick Hougham, Tim Ball and Chris Parkes (Principal) are the hornplayers seen here at Abbey Road.

This was fun – a promotional play through of some fantastic bits of MGM film scores.
This band sounds incredible. If you haven’t heard it yet, then you’re in for a massive treat.

I took the photo during the rehearsal. For the performance we all wore smart black and looked nearly as good as we sounded.


Ben Foster and the New Blood Orchestra, Hop Farm Festival

Ben Foster and the New Blood Orchestra, Hop Farm Festival


Richard Watkins in concert with Peter Gabriel’s New Blood Orchestra, Hop Farm Festival, June 2012

Richard Watkins in concert with Peter Gabriel's New Blood Orchestra, Hop Farm Festival, June 2012

Friend, colleague and icon of British hornplaying – Richard Watkins.
Here he is playing at a rock concert with Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra (in a muddy field in Kent).

You only get that golden halo if you’re really, really good!
The bassoonist in the background is Sarah Burnett – and she’s really, really good, too.


Ben Foster conducts the New Blood Orchestra at Hop Farm Festival

Ben Foster conducts the New Blood Orchestra at Hop Farm Festival


Just before the Hop Farm show – Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra

Just before the Hop Farm show - Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra


Ben Foster, Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra at Hop Farm Festival

Ben Foster, Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra at Hop Farm Festival


Portrait of the Artist – Berthold Anfanger, 2012

Portrait of the Artist - Berthold Anfanger in 2012


New Blood Orchestra

David Powell (left) and his doppelganger, David Powell Two.

David Powell (left) and his doppelganger, David Powell Two.


Owen Slade, tuba.

Andy Wood, Owen Slade and Annie Bielby with the John Wilson Orchestra in Leeds Town Hall, December 2011

Andy Wood, Owen Slade and Annie Bielby with the John Wilson Orchestra in Leeds Town Hall, December 2011


Schumann Konzertstuck rehearsal at Cadogan hall, London.

Schumann Konzertstuck rehearsal at Cadogan hall, London. London Chamber Orchestra with Christopher Warren-Green conducting. Hornplayers: Michael Thompson, Richard Watkins, Nigel Black and Pip Eastop

London Chamber Orchestra with Christopher Warren-Green conducting. Hornplayers: Michael Thompson, Richard Watkins, Nigel Black and Pip Eastop


Buskers – London

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Musicians at work near the Festival Hall at the Southbank, London.


Zak Eastop

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My son Zak photographed underneath the Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London


Ben Foster

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Ben is the conductor of Peter Gabriel’s “New Blood Orchestra” – and a very nice chap he is, too.