ONYX BRASS

About us

© Thomas Bowles

Onyx Brass is one of the rare breed of chamber ensembles whose musical and technical virtuosity is matched by the accessibility and vitality of their presentation. Their mission is to have their extraordinary abilities at the disposal of the music at all times, and to play music of the requisite quality to reflect the status of the brass quintet as a serious medium for chamber music. The richness and warmth of their sound is remarked upon by all who hear them.

Niall Keatley

© Thomas Bowles

Niall became a member of Onyx Brass in 1999 after founder member, Duncan MacNaughton, left. He is currently Third Trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2017, and is now also in demand as a guest principal trumpet with orchestras across the UK. Before the LSO, Niall was in  the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He is Professor of Trumpet at the Royal College of Music in London and is a B & S artist alongside Alan and Amos.

Alan Thomas

© Thomas Bowles

Alan joined Onyx Brass in 2013, replacing Brian Thomson, and combines this position with a busy, varied career across many musical disciplines. He is currently serving as a musician in The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment based at RAF Northolt, a post he took up in 2021. Before that he was Joint-Principal Trumpet with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, as well as being in demand as soloist, guest principal, and chamber musician with many other ensembles. He is Associate Head of Brass at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Professor of Trumpet at the Royal College of Music in London as well as trumpet tutor for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. With Niall and Amos, Alan is a B & S artist. Away from the trumpet, Alan enjoys running, cycling and generally keeping fit outdoors.

Andrew Sutton

© Thomas Bowles

Andrew has been a member of Onyx since 1995 when David Pyatt, the founding horn player left. He currently holds the position of Sub-Principal Horn of the Orchestra of the English National Opera, a post held since 2000. He also a member of the English Chamber Orchestra and works on a freelance basis with many other orchestras and ensembles. Andrew teaches horn at Eton College. Away from music he is a keen cyclist, enjoys walking Phoebe, his black Labrador, and with Dave is also a member of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.

Amos Miller

© Thomas Bowles

Amos Miller is Head of Brass at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire as well as being a very busy trombone player. He is a founder member of internationally acclaimed brass ensemble Onyx Brass, principal trombone with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, and a regular in the recording studio (having appeared on hundreds of film soundtracks, including Inception, Solo: a Star Wars Story, Harry Potter etc). He has also appeared as a guest with almost all of the UK’s major orchestras, as well as many international ones, including the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. He is well-known as an educator (and was the grateful recipient of the 2019 “Teacher of the Year” award from the British Trombone Society) and has led masterclasses all over the world, including the Juilliard School, Beijing Central Conservatory of Music and the Sibelius Academy, as well as at all of the UK music colleges.

David Gordon Shute

© Thomas Bowles

Dave, alongside Amos, is a founding member of Onyx Brass and combines his work for the quintet with being Principal Tuba in the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the Orchestra for Birmingham Royal Ballet. He is tuba teacher and Head of Brass at Eton College and for the last few years, has been Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Hertfordshire County Youth Wind Sinfonia and until recently the Cardiff University Symphonic Wind Band. In 2017, Dave received full accreditation from Humanists UK to be a funeral celebrant.