Anne McAneney My First, My Last, My Everything, August
Delighted to introduce Anne McAneney as the featured international brass artist interviewed for No 3 of My First, My Last, My Everything.
MY FIRST MY LAST MY EVERYTHING
First Live Musical Experience You Can Recall?
Taking my Trinity “Initial” grade piano exam. I was so terrified my skinny little knees were knocking together as they dangled from the piano stool. I remember afterwards telling my mum “I was very nervous but I don’t think the examiner noticed”
First Musical Instrument Owned?
A really old massive piano which my parents later replaced with a brand new hire purchase shiny Lindner, an Irish made piano with plastic action. I kept this until about 15 years ago.
First Music Lesson You Can Remember and Who Taught You?
Mrs Denny was my first piano teacher, she taught me at her house on the Crumlin Rd in Belfast. She didn’t have much of a sense of humour , unlike her husband who came to our house as our “Insurance Man”
First Trumpet Owned?
I borrowed firstly a cornet and secondly a trumpet from school , probably provided by the South- eastern music centre in Ballynahinch, before being bought my own trumpet when I was taking Grade 8. It was a Bach Strad 37. My parents must have saved very hard to buy it for me and I will be eternally grateful to them.
First Music Ensemble You Played In?
Junior String Orchestra. I played violin (badly) and we rehearsed every Saturday morning in Brunswick Street, Belfast.
First Concert You Can Remember Performing in on Trumpet?
Eternity Junction, a Rock Musical written by David Cardwell and Ken Gillen at the Tonic Theatre , Bangor, Co Down N.Ireland. 1975. I had been persuaded by my friend Robert Dawson to change from cornet to trumpet and as a result played in this show as second trumpet to him. It was an amazing experience.
First Record You Can Remember Buying?
I fell in love with the beautiful slow movement from Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony and bought the Decca recording by Paris Conservatoire conducted by Georg Solti. Not having previously experienced French vibrato I was confused by the horn sound and wondered if the solo might have been played by a saxophone.
Who Was The First Trumpet Player To Really Inspire You?
I had a truly wonderful trumpet teacher whilst at university called Peter Reeve, who introduced me to lots of different styles of music and developed my playing greatly. Paul Beniston (who of course was still a schoolboy at that time) and I, had him in common as our teacher then. I feel that many of the common qualities in our trumpet playing are thanks to Peter. He was a lovely man, a true gent.
First Playing Position in an Orchestra?
Other than youth and student orchestras and then freelancing, my first professional position was as Principal Trumpet in the Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet Orchestra. I joined in 1985 and left in 1989 to return to freelancing in London.
First Recording Session You Played On?
The first one I remember was for a TV series called One by One, a TV series on BBC 1, with music written by Mike Omer.
First Brass Teaching Post?
I taught for ILEA at Catford County Girls School when I was 21 which was quite scary at times when fights broke out in the corridor and my pupil would say “I think you should go and sort it out miss” . I only stayed for a couple of years. I began teaching at GSMD in 1995 and am still there as a trumpet prof.
First Overseas Tour You Took Part In?
The first orchestra I toured with was the RPO, probably around 1984 and most likely somewhere in Europe. There were so many tours but the one I remember most, was to Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia with concerts alternating between Yehudi Menuhin conducting classical repertoire and Louis Clarke with Hooked on Classics sharing the evening with the Country and Western. Singer Glen Campbell. What a trip !
First Ensemble You Conducted?
An astonishingly good all girl brass group in Norway on a London Brass tour.
Can You Recall Your First Paid Playing Job?
Bach B Minor Mass on 3rd trumpet with my teacher Peter Reeve and an ex student Andy Callard.
First Car You Owned
A Mazda 626 which my dad had found for me in Newtownards, N Ireland. I brought it back overnight on the ferry and and drove down from Liverpool to London.
Last Instrument You Purchased?
I bought a Cornopean from Ray Farr (Norway) during lockdown. It doesn’t have a mouthpiece, so if anyone knows where I can find one, I would be extremely grateful.
Last Concert You Performed In?
11th March 2020 . Beethoven Triple Concerto and Mahler Symphony No 1at the Royal Festival Hall, conducted by Robin Ticciati.
Last Recording You Bought or Downloaded?
Rhythmic Impressions , Zakir Hussain. I love the rhythmic complexities and highly developed structures of Indian classical music and in particular vocal percussion, a fundamental part of the tradition. The track Conversation in 3 2 3 is fab.
Last Recording Session You Played On?
6th Jan. Skalkottas Concerto for Violin, Viola and Wind Orchestra, conducted by Martin Brabbins. Video - 10th July for LPO Summer Sessions ,YouTube.
Last Orchestral Tour You Undertook Dec 2019 Vienna, Dortmund, Stuttgart and Frankfurt.
Last Book You Read?
Frank Deans Last Day On Earth written by RSJ Steel ( a fellow musician)
Last Film You Watched?
Capernaum on Prime Video.
Last Concert You Attended As An Audience Member?
St Johns Passion, OAE Simon Rattle. RFH.
Favourite Instrument You Owned?
Bach Gold Brass Bell Flugelhorn. I have had this for many years and love it so much, I expect never to part with it.
Proudest Musical Moment?
Having spent quite a few hours in an audition with the Philip Jones Quintet, replacing Rod Franks and Nigel Gomm in turn, alongside Frank Lloyd, Roger Harvey and John Fletcher, receiving a phonemail a week later to say that I had got the position of Philip in the newly formed group London Brass. I was elated.
Which Concert Venue(s) In The World Did You Use To Look Forward To Playing In?
Vienna Musikverein, Berlin Philharmonie, Cologne Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw to name a few.
Who Were The Conductor(s) You Enjoyed Playing For And Why?
Yuri Termikanov, Claus Tennstedt, Bernard Haitink, Kurt Masur. All incredible musicians who could bring the best playing out of orchestras. A joy to make music under their baton.
If You Could Play One Last Piece of Orchestral Music Now What Would That Be?
Mahler Symphony No 3 . The final movement is my favourite of all Mahler symphonies.
Which Countries Did You Enjoy Performing In and Why?
I’ve performed in many countries and they all have unique qualities. It is sometimes a challenge to cope with the different acoustics and styles of concert halls around the world but aside from the music making, it’s a real pleasure to meet people from different cultures and enjoy a huge variety of cuisines and liquid refreshment.
What Book, Recording and a Piece of Art Work or Photograph Would You Most Like To Have Forever?
A Suitable Boy , Vikram Seth
Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Sir Neville Marriner. Elgar Sospiri op 70 . Decca 1997.
Klimt The Three Ages of Woman
The Best Piece Advice You Were Given?
Short and sweet. Practise.
The Best Piece of Advice You Would Give To Young Brass Players Just Starting Out?
Treat your colleagues as you would like to be treated. The people you meet at college are likely to be your colleagues for many years. Also, remember your teacher is very likely to be the person to give your first professional date , so ........
What Do You Wish You Knew When You Were Young That You Know Now?
Life rushes past, make the most of your opportunities and don’t waste a precious second.
Is There Anything You Would Have Done Differently In Your Career?
No. I’ve really enjoyed my career. I don’t entirely feel I’ve had a huge amount of control over it to be honest, it has just happened and I feel extremely fortunate.
If You Had Not Become A Professional Musician What Career Would You Like To Have Followed?
Chef. Cooking, entertaining and eating are my main pastimes outside of music.
If There Was One Composer You Would Have Liked To Have Met Who Would That Be?
Maurice Andre. It saddens me that I didn’t get the chance to meet him and see him perform live.
Which Non Musical Famous Person Would You Most Like To Meet Living or Deceased? What Would You Ask Them?
Keith Floyd. “ Fancy a drink and can I ask you some questions about cooking please ?”
Marmite Love it or Hate It?
Neither. I’m quite partial to a little , spread on toast.
Thank you Anne so much for taking the time to take on this interview and providing such a personal and fascinating insight into your remarkable career as a professional musician from those very first steps. The London Philharmonic Orchestra trumpet section is one I have personally always admired for many years. It is a trumpet section I constantly recommend to students to listen to. I hope the LPO will back on stage asap and I look forward to coming up to town to hear you performing again. Thank you.