Eric Crees was born in London and studied at Wandsworth School, where, in the famous boys' choir, he worked with many distinguished professional orchestras and conductors. Of particular importance was the school's long association with Benjamin Britten, who wrote a solo part for him in the Children's Crusade.
While still at school he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and as a student undertook an extensive period of work with the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. Having won the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society's 'Joyce Dixey Award' for composition, he graduated from the University of Surrey with first class honours and joined the London Symphony Orchestra, where he spent twenty-seven years, twenty as Co-Principal Trombone. In September 2000 he was appointed Principal Trombone at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
As director of London Symphony Orchestra Brass for many years he regularly conducted them at the Barbican Centre and internationally. He has made five CDs with the ensemble: two for Collins Classics, American Brass and Cathedral Brass, featuring many of his arrangements, and three of a world première recording by Naxos Records of the complete instrumental ensemble sonatas and canzonas of Giovanni Gabrieli for which he made a new performing edition.
He has also written acclaimed arrangements for The London Trombone Sound and The London Horn Sound, for Cala Records, and has worked for many of the world's most distinguished ensembles and brass bands in concerts, recordings, television and radio broadcasts. His version of Bernstein's Suite from West Side Story has been commercially recorded four times.
Recent original compositions include Silk Street Stomp written for the Guildhall School of Music Big Band and played at a festival of youth big bands at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Two Antiphonal Fanfares performed at the Lord Mayor's banquet at the Mansion House, Frighteners' Gallop for 8 horns commissioned by the British Horn Society, Orage for 16 trombones written for Bone Lab and premiered at the Dartington Summer School, Processional for PJ written for large brass ensemble in memory of Philip Jones, The Birth of Conchobar again for symphonic brass and percussion commissioned by the Ulster Youth Orchestra, Three Sketches from Rackham for flute and harp, Flourish for solo trombone and Carillons for six harps.
In order to develop and extend his work for the large ensemble, he has formed The Symphonic Brass of London, a hand-picked group of Britain's finest brass and percussion players who have performed at home and abroad to great acclaim.
Eric Crees is also an internationally renowned teacher and is Professor of Trombone, B.mus tutor, Conductor of Wind, Brass and Percussion at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he was made a Fellow in 1991.He is a frequent coach at music colleges and specialist schools both in the UK and abroad as well as the National Youth Orchestras of Great Britain, Belgium, Spain, the Ulster Youth Orchestra and the Pacific Youth Orchestra in Japan. Many of his students now hold important orchestral and teaching positions throughout the world.
He is also in great demand as a juror for international competitions such as the Donatella Flick and the Leonard Bernstein Conducting Competitions , the Narbonne International Brass Quintet and the Slokar Trombone Competitions, as well as the National, European and the All England Masters Brass Band Championships.
PETER GANE FGSM ARMCM
Peter Gane is one of Britain's leading brass specialists. At the age of 16 he won an open scholarship to study the trombone at the Royal Manchester College of Music and at the age of 19 he became a member of the London Symphony Orchestra. A founder and former president of the British Trombone Association with many publications to his credit, Peter Gane has earned particular recognition for his work with young people. He has a long-standing association with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the European Union Youth Orchestra where he has been professor of trombone since 1977 and 1984 respectively. As a teacher, brass specialist and conductor he has taken master classes and workshops in many European Conservatoires and with professional groups in Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Holland, Austria, Italy and the U.S.A. His international reputation has recently been confirmed by the presentation of the "Neill Humfeld award for excellence in trombone teaching" by the International Trombone Association.
He became a professor of the GSMD in 1971, was elected a Fellow of the School in 1981 and is currently Head of the Department of Wind and Percussion where he regularly conducts and records with the Guildhall School of Music Symphonic Wind Ensemble.