Maurice André's Successor Describes his Singular Influence

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 02:40 PM

Maurice André made the trumpet popular with his golden tone, supple phrasing and easy Gallic charm. Alison Balsom may be the closest artist around to inheriting his mantle. The 33-year-old English trumpeter tours the globe and has made four recordings that exhibit a similarly expressive, André-like sound and manner. 

On Tuesday, two days after André's passing, Balsom stopped by WQXR to talk with host Jeff Spurgeon. She explained how André created the modern solo trumpeter as we know it. "With his sheer force of personality, his charisma, his incredible sound – particularly on the piccolo trumpet, which he really brought into his own – he made the trumpet into a serious art instrument."

Listen to the full discussion above, including Balsom's recollection of playing for André at a competition.


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Comments [6]

Peter J Blume from Westchester, NY

Just as Wynton was (is) the excellent role model for my generation of young trumpet players & students...I now have a young daughter. And while she currently digs the fact that her own dad plays the trumpet, at some point it’ll probably become ‘uncool’ for her to like or maybe even want to try learning the trumpet herself; it might sound silly or elementary, but that’s just how tough peer pressure is in youth these days--& it’s worse for girls who might actually be interested in trying the trombone! Ms. Balsom—as well as Ms. Tine Thing Helseth & Ms. Amanda Pepping—are all excellent examples of how playing the trumpet is definitely not necessarily just for ‘boys’; they are young, pretty & yet all very capable trumpet players, regardless of who other people want to try to compare them to.

So if I’m ever lucky enough to have my daughter come up to me & tell me that she thinks Allison Balsom is the next Maurice Andre, I might just go along with her—even if just to encourage her enthusiasm.

Ms. Balsom, it was nice to hear you speak so highly of someone I too admired, Master Maurice André. & I love your Italian Concertos CD! May you enjoy your own continued success in all of your hard work.

Mar. 03 2012 03:44 AM
Michael Meltzer

For some reason, WQXR seems infatuated with "successors." You have in the past announced the next Pavarotti, the next Horowitz, now the next Maurice Andre. I'm not sure that three candidates are a large enough sample, but I note three preliminary conclusions anyway.
1. You offend the fans of the established legend in question.
2. You put an unnecessary onus on the shoulders of young artists with their own artistic identities, and who deserve to be taken solely on their own merits, of which they have a right to be proud.
3. You are always wrong, anyway.
Give it up. It serves no useful musical purpose.

Mar. 01 2012 12:56 PM
Michael Meltzer

What are the musical credentials of a radio journalist who forms an editorial musical opinion on behalf of a public music radio station?

Mar. 01 2012 12:28 PM

@Morris: Please note that the headline is our editorial viewpoint, but not something Ms. Balsom claimed for herself personally. And we agree, Wynton Marsalis is also a very respected trumpet player.

Mar. 01 2012 10:57 AM
Morris Solomon

As much as she may think she's the successor to Andre, there's only one comment

Wynton Marsalis!!!!

Feb. 29 2012 07:43 AM
Tim Taffe, Iowa City, from Iowa City Iowa


That wonderful man Maurice Andre has only so recently departed, his final notes still ring the aire.. mater how pretty is Alison Balsom or how fine her chops, raising her to his throne, I feel very distasteful and at best...premature.. I do wish her well. T2

Feb. 28 2012 07:40 PM

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