Cambridge-based brass ensemble Prime Brass was formed in 1989 by trumpeter Paul Garner as a quintet and since 2002 the ensemble has developed into a conductor-less dectet, the formation in which it currently gives most of its concerts. This ten-piece line-up of four trumpets, four trombones, horn and tuba was made famous by the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and continued by their successors London Brass. The ensemble also expands for a few concerts each year to perform repertoire for symphonic forces or larger, playing regularly in Ely Cathedral and King’s College Chapel, often in programmes which include the organ.
In addition to recitals of its own and with organ, Prime Brass frequently performs with voices, and has worked with many of the leading choirs in Cambridge. In 2012 the ensemble went on tour to Paris with Cambridge University’s CUMS Chorus under the direction of Stephen Cleobury, with whom Prime Brass enjoys a flourishing relationship. The ensemble has also accompanied the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus on tours to Prague (Rudolfinum) and Amsterdam (Concertgebouw).
Prime Brass is well known for its performances at the lighter end of the musical spectrum, and the ensemble has achieved notable success in family concerts with titles such as ‘Prime Brass at the Circus’, ‘Prime Brass in Space’, and ‘Around the World with Prime Brass’. The ensemble has recorded four CDs, including 'A Brass Odyssey' and 'A Christmas Song', both including tracks recorded in King’s College Chapel under the direction of Stephen Cleobury. Prime Brass also supports Junior Prime Brass, an ensemble of talented local teenage brass players.