The Geneva Brass Quintet: A New Expression of the Classic

From the 19th to 27th August, 2011, the Geneva Brass Quintet (GBQ) has given concerts in four cities in China, and was well received by audience and critics alike.

Improvisation on the Great Wall

From the 19th to 27th August, 2011, the Geneva Brass Quintet (GBQ), invited by Wu Promotion, has given concerts in four cities in China including Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian and Yangzhou, and was well received by audience and critics alike.
The first concert was held at the famed National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, which can hold 700 people. This is a large theatre for a chamber music ensemble and originally there was concern whether the five instruments can fill such a big space or not. However, any previous worries vanished the moment Geneva Brass Quintet started to play Bach's Tocatta & Fugue. The various instruments held their own melodies while contributing to one whole harmonious whole sound: the trumpets were brilliant and acted as strong guides; the trombone was full and powerful, and held the ensemble together; and the tuba is just like a cello in a chamber orchestra. During the performance, the artists exchanged jovial looks as if there was some secret agreement among them. Sometimes moving energetically and employing humor and at other times steady and concentrated on their playing, the audience was totally captivated by the Ensembles thrilling performance.

Most interesting was their introductions to the pieces of the programme. Instead of the usual narrated introduction, they used unexpected props to make the history behind the music easier for the audience to grasp. Before the William Tell Overture, the quintet used worn arrows and apples to tell the story of how the Swiss rebelled against their oppressor and procured freedom. Their unique and creative way to express the serious nature of classical music left an unforgettable imprint in the audiences' minds.

Record Signing in Dalian

As it was their first tour to China, the ensemble visited the Great Wall at Badaling. They were so high-spirited that they played an impromptu concert on the Great Wall for the enjoyment of the passing tourists.

Clay Figurines of the Geneva Brass Quintet in the Old City Temple, Shanghai

The five members of the Ensemble are virtuosic musicians who, as well as the great reputation of Geneva Brass Quintet, also enjoy individual reputations in the classical music world: Samuel Gaille, one of the two trumpeters and the founder, is a multiple winner of the Swiss Soloists Championships; Eric Rey is a freelance tuba player working regularly in Swiss orchestras (OSR, OCN, Contrechamps, Sinfonietta); Lionel Walter is currently a freelance trumpeter who has cooperated with many famous orchestras; David Rey is a trombone soloist at the Brussels Philharmonic (Belgium); and Christophe Sturzenegger recently won the Kiefer-Hablitzel Award given by the Swiss Musicians' Association.