Canadian Brass is one of our northern neighbor’s most recognizable musical exports. Heading into their 48th year as an ensemble, they were founded in 1970 during the first Trudeau administration and will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2020! These cultural ambassadors have touched fans in virtually every country in the world; their commitment goes beyond performances and into classrooms around the globe.
In advance of their performance on November 18, we chatted with two members of Canadian Brass, trumpeters Caleb Hudson and Chris Coletti about performing with the Celebrity Series and spending time in Boston.
Celebrity Series: Is there a piece of music that you’ve always wanted to arrange for the group but either haven’t yet or found it too difficult?
Chris Coletti (CC): I’ve always wanted to figure out a way to make atmospheric pieces work for Brass, music like Ligeti’s Lontana or Lux Aeterna, and repetitive music like Philip Glass’s Liquid Days. I really enjoyed arranging Strobe by Deadmau5 and am currently working on some more EDM tracks as well. The challenge with all 3 of these styles is the repetition—Brass players need rests!
Celebrity Series: This is the seventh time Canadian Brass will perform with the Celebrity Series. What are you looking forward to seeing/doing while you’re in town?
Caleb Hudson (CH): Mostly, we are excited to play in the beautiful Jordan Hall and reconnect with our New England friends and fans. And if we have time…. the Freedom Trail and some Clam Chowder!
Celebrity Series: What’s next on the horizon for Canadian Brass?
CC: We have many different projects going on, but last week we premiered a Concerto for quintet and orchestra written for us by Chris Brubeck which was a ton of fun. We’re hoping this monumental work inspires more composers to write music featuring brass quintet as a soloists.
Celebrity Series: I read that you perform on “24-karat gold-plated Bach trumpets.” That sounds super swank. What does it mean?
CH: It’s really sort of a trademark of the group, since the beginning in 1970. Gold gives more warmth to the sound, but most of all it just looks great under the stage lights. Added bonus, we don’t have to polish gold as we would with silver.
Celebrity Series: If you could describe Canadian Brass in emoji form, which ones would you use?
CC and CH: