A classical music feast mixed with fun
Cenk ErdemAs the world’s most famous brass group, Canadian Brass comes up with a performance that is entertaining, spontaneous, full of virtuosity and, most of all, fun. They have sold well over 2 million albums worldwide and they continue to score Billboard Classical chart positions.
Their repertoire includes the works of Renaissance and Baroque masters, Classical works, marches, Latin, jazz, big band, Broadway as well as popular songs. Founding member Chuck Daellenbach (tuba), Christopher Coletti and Caleb Hudson (trumpets), Achilles Liarmakopoulos (trombone) and Bernhard Scully (horn) are now ready to perform in Istanbul.
Talented horn player Scully speaks about their music, Canadian Brass’ brilliant career, their innovative approach and their set list for Istanbul.
Canadian Brass has been challenged to create a brilliant career out of bringing the joy of brass music to new audiences; so do you still explore the possibilities of brass music?
Yes, thank you for asking. We are continually doing our best to expand the repertoire for brass music. We just released a new album and on the album, we already have a new arrangement and a new composition! We are always looking for new pieces to perform, commissioning projects, new arrangements, and even new ways to perform older pieces.
Critics refer to Canadian Brass as “the world’s most famous brass group.” So can we say that you are somehow pop stars of classical music?
The group is definitely one of the most recognizable names in classical music so this makes sense. I tend to think of myself as just a guy who loves playing the horn and sharing my music with audiences, but if that makes me a pop star... I’ll take it! My teacher used to say to me that it was a privilege to work in the music industry so I have been very grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way and I know the other guys feel the same way. We are very humbled by the fact that people think of us as pop stars, and feel genuine gratitude for all the love our fans have shown us. We will continue to work as hard as ever to do what we do!
Your shows are not a kind of formal classical presentations, so can you say that you bring some classical music with fun?
Yes, absolutely! We want to present the highest level of music making and the highest level of entertainment at the same time. We definitely have fun on stage and we hope very much that the audience has at least as much fun as we do. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of fun as they say.
Your shows come up with diversity in styles from Baroque tunes to new compositions and pop but what really excites you most about your shows on stage?
I love every piece we play! It’s hard to say what I love the most. Baroque and Renaissance music really speaks to me so I definitely enjoy those pieces. I also really love our jazz works! As a horn player, it was sort of assumed I wouldn’t do jazz because my instrument wasn’t known for it... Even though I secretly wanted to be a professional jazz musician when I was young. So for me this really is living the dream getting to play all of these great jazz charts, some them especially featuring the horn!
Canadian Brass have sold over 2 million albums worldwide; what about your new projects?
We just released our newest CD, “Perfect Landing,” and we are already in the works discussing what will come next. Don’t worry, when our projects get nearer to completion we will start giving hints on our social media posts to let all of our fans know what’s in store.
Canadian Brass is also kind of a touring legend with 40 years of career behind it. Which country’s audience surprised you most with their reaction?
I have loved everywhere we have ever played. I was especially struck by the audiences in Asia. We often get a great reaction from our audiences, but this was like nothing I had ever experienced! People were lining up for blocks just to get a CD afterwards! But like I said, everywhere we play, the best thing about the concerts is the audience and getting to meet so many wonderful people afterwards.
You were the first brass ensemble from the West to perform in the People’s Republic of China. Any other country left you dream of performing in in the future?
Well I must say that Turkey is definitely on that list for me! So I am thrilled to be coming to play in Istanbul. I would love to perform in India actually. It’s a place I have never been and I am a huge fan of their musical culture. Australia and New Zealand come to mind to for their breathtaking beauty.
Your repertoire features brass standards but also includes Latin, jazz, big band, Broadway and even popular songs. What about your repertoire for İstanbul?
We will be playing just that. Our concert will be a mix of all the things you mentioned plus Baroque, Renaissance, Classical, Romantic music and much, much more! We are going to be especially featuring music from our new album, “Perfect Landing,” so the audience can get a leg up on what is in store by checking out the album beforehand online. We are so thrilled to be able to come and perform in Istanbul and look forward to seeing everyone at the concert!