Onyx Brass, from left to right: Brian, Andrew, Niall, David, Amos.
Brian Thompson – trumpet
Brian began playing cornet in brass bands at the age of 10, taking up the trumpet later in high school. Further studies include a Bachelor of Music degree at Goldsmiths College, University of London, followed by a postgraduate Diploma at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. During this period he was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra for two years. From 1993-6 Brian was principal trumpet of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, during which time he was professor of trumpet at the Hong Kong Institute of Arts. After returning, Brian was appointed co-principal trumpet with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1998. His solo performances include the Haydn, Hummel and Vivaldi double concertos and Shostakovich`s Concerto for Piano and Trumpet. He also freelances with all the orchestras of London and others such as the Orchestra L’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. In early 2005, Brian was promoted to principal trumpet with the RPO. In his youth, Brian raced motorbikes.
Niall Keatley – trumpet
Niall began his musical studies at the City of Belfast School of Music at the age of nine. While at the C.B.S.M he was a member of the City of Belfast Youth Orchestra and also played with a number of Brass Bands in the Northern Ireland area. In addition Niall was principal trumpet with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain performing in some of Europe’s finest concert halls. Niall was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music where his teachers included, Ian Balmain, James Watson and John Wallace. During this time Niall was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra and also spent a short time with the Black Dyke Mills Brass Band. As a free-lance trumpet player Niall has performed with various orchestras including, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In 2002 Niall performed Haydn’s trumpet concerto on BBC television with the Ulster Orchestra as part of the BBC Last night of the Proms, Proms in the Park series. As well as being a member of Onyx brass, Niall has performed with a number of chamber ensembles including, London Brass, LSO Brass, London Winds and the Wallace Collection.
Andrew Sutton – horn
Andrew began by playing the tenor horn at his local brass band in Bristol aged 8 but shortly swapped to the french horn, studying at the Royal Academy of Music with Derek Taylor and Richard Watkins. Like the other members of the quintet, while at music college he was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra.
On leaving the RAM, Andrew has led a varied career in music. As well as being a member of the English Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of the English National Opera, he plays regularly with the Philharmonia, BBC, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Opera House, and Bournemouth Symphony orchestras. With these groups he has worked with some of the worlds finest musicians and toured extensively around the globe. In addition to Onyx, he performs with other chamber ensembles such as London Winds, the Haffner ensemble, the Wallace collection, and the Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt. Andrew also plays an active role in the English Chamber Orchestra education project. Andrew is also a member of the group Campaign For Real Ale.
Amos Miller – trombone
Amos started playing the trombone at the age of nine with John Berry. He proceeded through Oxford University and the Royal Academy of Music, learning with Eric Crees, Denis Wick and Ian Bousfield, and playing principal trombone for the National and European Youth Orchestras. Having gained the Dip.RAM, the Academy’s highest award for performance, he completed the Jazz Course at the Banff Center for the Arts in Canada, under artists such as Jim Hall and Kenny Wheeler. On leaving the RAM he was awarded the coveted Meaker fellowship. He now combines the post of principal trombone with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia (to which he was appointed in 2003) with a busy freelance career in which he has worked as guest principal trombone with all the major London orchestras, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, as well as the English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin’s, the London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He has also appeared on several film soundtracks, including ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Terminator Salvation’, and ‘Inception’. Abroad, he has worked with Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt and is guest principal with the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada in Spain. He is also a member of the City of London Sinfonia. Amos also has many educational commitments: in addition to his positions as trombone teacher for the Royal Air Force and the Royal College of Music Junior Department, he works regularly for the outreach departments of the Engish Chamber and London Symphony Orchestras, and Birmingham Royal Ballet. He is the co-author of “Time Pieces for Trombone” for the Associated Board, and is the author of “A New Tune a Day for Trombone”, published by the Boston Music company. He is a trustee of the Clarence Myerscough and Christopher Horn charitable trusts and is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
David Gordon-Shute – tuba
David studied with Paul Lawrence whilst principal tuba in the National Youth Orchestra. Then, having completed a degree at Cambridge University, he undertook a postgraduate course at the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Patrick Harrild. During this time David was principal tuba of the London Philharmonic Youth and European Union Youth orchestras, as well as performing ‘Tubby the Tuba’ with the Academy Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Ron Goodwin. On leaving the RAM, David was awarded the coveted Mosco Carner fellowship. David has a regular post with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia and also works regularly with the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and BBC Symphony orchestras. He was a soloist for the charity ‘Live Music Now!’ for many years as well as being a regular coach for the National Symphony Orchestra of Vietnam. David also teaches tuba at Radley College, Eton College and St. Pauls School. Over the summer, David is a professional rowing coach.