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Fountain becomes top man at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

James Fountain is to be appointed Principal Trumpet of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

James Fountain


James Fountain has joined an illustrious list of brass band cornet players who have become the principal trumpet of an internationally renowned professional orchestra.

The principal cornet of the Virtuosi GUS Band, who is still in his third year at the Guildhall School of Music in London, has been appointed Principal Trumpet of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Cross over

He now joins the likes of Willie Lang, Maurice Murphy, Rod Franks, Rhys Owen, Philip Cobb and Gareth Small in making the successful cross-over to the professional orchestral ranks.

“I’ve been fortunate to work with the orchestra for a little while now and have been on trial since August — although the news still came as something of a shock,” he told 4BR.

“I feel very fortunate and honoured to take on the role and to join a wonderful brass section filled with great players. The orchestra will be going on tour to the USA in December, so I will be officially starting in January.

It’s certainly going to be straight in at the deep end so to speak, but I’m really looking forward to the experience and working under conductors such as Artistic Director Charles Dutoit.”

Carry on playing

The Geneva Instrument performer and former principal cornet of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, also hopes to be able to carry on playing with Virtuosi GUS as long as possible, as well as finish his graduate studies.

He added: “Virtuosi GUS have been remarkably supportive of me over the years, and I owe them so much, so I hope to be able to carry on playing with the band for as long as I can.

I’ve also had great support and encouragement from my tutors at the Guildhall such as Paul Cosh who recently retired, and so many others, so even though it is a demanding full time role I would like to finish my studies too.”

I feel very fortunate and honoured to take on the role and to join a wonderful brass section filled with great playersJames Fountain

GUS thrilled

Meanwhile, Virtuosi GUS is thrilled to see a player who they have helped nurture and develop over the years, take on such a high profile role.

Band Chairman Nigel Love told 4BR: “We are thrilled for James. He is such a talented player and a wonderful young man. To have helped him develop into such a performer gives us a great deal of pride and to know that he will continue to play with us is equally good news.

We wish him well in what we are all sure will be a simply outstanding professional musical career.”

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Mike Sheppard

B.A. (Hons) Music
Composer, conductor, teacher, author