Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018, Onyx Brass continues to be the leading light in establishing the brass quintet as a medium for serious chamber music, presenting it in the entertaining and articulate style that has become the group’s trademark.
BBC Music Magazine described the group as “easily the classiest brass ensemble in Britain”, and Gramophone hailed “some of the most thrilling chamber brass-playing of its kind”. Onyx and its five recordings are also regularly featured on BBC Radio 3. The group has commissioned and performed the world premières of well over 100 new works, with many more in the pipeline.
Education is a large part of the remit of Onyx Brass: workshops and master-classes range from Primary School to the Juilliard School. The group is currently resident ensemble of Imperial College, University of London. Work with singers also forms a central part of Onyx’s work, often under the auspices of the John Armitage Memorial trust, with whom Onyx Brass has been affiliated since its inception.
During 2014, Onyx Brass toured the country, bringing contemporary brass music to bandstands, parks and public spaces as part of the Tour de Brass! The project was supported by PRS for Music’s New Music Biennial Scheme and featured a new commission by British composer David Sawer.
2017/18 sees a tour of new commissions from some of Britain’s leading jazz composers, writing for brass quintet. This will be coupled with a new disc of these works, released by NMC Recordings.
Onyx Brass is very grateful for support from the PRS for Music Foundation (Open Fund) for support of it’s commissioning, performance and recording of new music.