Adrian Brett (flute)

 

Born in Deal in 1945 Adrian Brett attended South Deal County Primary School and Simon Langton Grammar School, Canterbury. His early musical attainments locally were as a boy soprano at St.Leonard1s Parish Church, Deal. He won the Boys Vocal Solo Class at the Kent Competitive Music Festival in 1956-57. After joining the Royal Marines as a musician in 1959, where he learned the flute with Peter Wastall, he was the first winner of the Houghton Cup for the best woodwind player of the year. He later studied the flute in London with Albert Honey and Geoffrey Gilbert and, on leaving the Royal Marines in 1966, studied in Paris with Fernand Caratgé and later attended masterclasses in Switzerland with the veteran French teacher, the legendary Marcel Moyse. His playing career has been diverse. Early engagements in London theatre orchestras led to work with the major London symphony and chamber orchestras and after a chance encounter with James Galway, to a two year period playing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he toured the USA in 1968. In 1974 he was appointed principal flute with the BBC Radio Orchestra where he gained much valuable experience playing lighter music, learning studio recording techniques and solo playing. Adrian left the BBC in 1976 to become one of Londons busiest studio session musicians, where his versatility and ability to play many different ethnic flutes from all over the world made him much in demand as a soloist and backing artist. He plays panpipes on two of Paul McCartney’s albums and for many other well known singers. Film and TV scores, jingles for TV adverts and pop music backing tracks all became daily fare and the major problem of the day was getting from one studio to another. The most satisfying period of his career was the 15 years from 1976-91 playing in Londons premier freelance studio symphony orchestra made up of the leading players in London - The National Philharmonic Orchestra, recording operas with Pavarotti and Domingo, Joan Sutherland and other leading international opera stars in addition to other symphonic and ballet recordings and hundreds of film scores. Adrian Brett has played on over 2000 film and TV scores working with such composers as Jerry Goldsmith, Maurice Jarre, Michel Legrand, George Fenton, John Barry and Henry Mancini. Adrian can be heard on some 12 or so James Bond movie tracks and the Pink Panther movies—and the signature tune for the Archers! In 1979 his solo album Echoes of Gold was the first solo instrumental album to reach the top 20 earning him a gold disc and this was followed by another album in 1980, Stepping Stones. Adrian Brett has given classes and workshops throughout the UK and in the USA and has contributed to many musical journals and written CD and programme notes for many leading artists. He has held professorships at several leading music colleges including the Guildhall School of Music, London College of Music and Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin and he is regularly invited to adjudicate competitions and annual examinations at all of the major colleges in the UK. Currently Adrian is enjoying a period of writing articles, arranging music for films and TV, and playing 18 different flutes in the orchestra for The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, London.

 

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