Graham Ashton is Professor of Trumpet at Purchase College, State University of New York. He was born in London and trained at the Royal Academy of Music. As a soloist, he has appeared with orchestras throughout the world including the BBC Symphony with Sir Andrew Davies and London Philharmonic with Sir George Solti, English Chamber Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony in Johannesburg, New York Virtuosi and NYC’s Orchestra of Our Time. During the past twenty-five years, Mr. Ashton has given over 200 master classes and recitals in 21 countries. He has also made nine acclaimed solo recordings for Virgin Classics, Signum Classics, Nimbus, IMP Classics, Koch and Claves with the English Chamber, English Symphony and Irish Chamber Orchestras, and recorded Bach’s 2nd Brandenburg Concerto twice for EMI with London Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Ensemble. Of his BBC award-winning cd ‘The Contemporary Trumpet’ (Virgin Classics), The Gramophone wrote: “Graham Ashton shows himself to be an acutely thoughtful musician: virtuosity is never regarded as an end in itself, the sound never brazen and he conveys an unswerving clarity of vision which should be admired beyond the confines of the brass world”.
During the 1980s Mr. Ashton was busy in London’s vibrant studio scene where he recorded numerous film soundtracks including Yentil, Never Say, Never Again, Octopussy, Chaplin, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, Batman, Dangerous Liaisons, Cry Freedom, and The Russia House. He also played on countless radio and tv jingles, and commercial albums with Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, Barbara Streisand, Phil Collins, Boy George, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello. As an orchestral trumpeter, Mr. Ashton has appeared as guest principal with the London Symphony, BBC Symphony, Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, under such notables as Sir George Solti, Lorin Maazel, Carlo Guillini, Claudio Abbado, Ricardo Muti, Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Colin Davis. In 2006, he was invited as guest principal in a performance and live recording of Richard Strauß’ Alpine Symphony performed by a combined Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and MDR Sinfonieorchester of Leipzig. In 2013-14, he will guest with the Orchestra of the Paris Opera.
Recognized for his commitment to brass chamber music, Mr. Ashton was a member of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble from 1981-84 with whom he made 5 records and performed throughout Europe, USA, Israel and Japan. He formed his own group, the Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble in London in 1989, and reformed the ensemble with virtuoso brass players from New York City when he relocated to New York in 1999. Acclaimed as one of the world’s most innovative ensembles of its kind, the Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble gave concerts throughout Europe, USA, Scandinavia and Australia. They had performances broadcast by the BBC in London, WNYC in New York and ABC in Sydney, and recorded five cds for EMI Virgin, Sony, Signum and Chandos. Their surround-sound recording for Sony-Sonoma was nominated to the final five in the 2005 Grammy Awards.
As a composer and arranger, Mr. Ashton has written for film, theatre and the concert platform. He has received commissions from a number of agencies, most recently from the Australian Embassy, Signum Records, SUNY Fredonia and Sony Records. His music is published by Editions BIM in Switzerland, and includes, amongst others, Miniatures and Dreamsuite, for brass quartet, and his two esoteric compositions, Birdsong, for didgeridoo, percussion, piano and brass (recorded on the cd, Scenes of Spirits for Signum Classics), and Sanus Inter Astra for flute, clarinet, violin, trumpet horn and piano + recorded galactic sounds collected by Voyagers I and II during their journeys into outer space.
In addition to performing, teaching and composing, Mr. Ashton has created his own range of Graham Ashton Mouthpieces (http://www.griegomouthpieces.com/products/ashton_trumpet.php ) made by the Griego Mouthpiece Co., and is a clinician for the Edwards Instrument Company, whose trumpets he plays exclusively and helps design.
Mr. Ashton spends any spare time horse riding, bike riding, cooking, photographing, and following the Yankees baseball. He listens mostly to Bach and Purcell and loves paintings by Dali, Hopper, Matisse and Picasso.