Dr. L. Brett Baker
Englishman Brett Baker is viewed internationally as a leading brass performer and educator. He is passionate about encouraging composers to write pioneering new repertoire for trombone having commissioned over 100 compositions. Brett is Programme Leader for Musical Arts at the University of Salford (Manchester), an ambassador for Michael Rath Brass Instruments and Festival Director for both the Singapore and Thailand Low Brass Festivals. He is also Chairman of the Awards Committee for the International Trombone Association (ITA) and a Past-President of the British Trombone Society (BTS).
Brett has performed with singers such as Alison Goldfrapp and Hayley Westenra, trumpet soloist Alison Balsom and other world class trombone soloists including; Ian Bousfield, Wycliffe Gordon, Christian Lindberg and Joseph Alessi. He is currently the most recorded trombone soloist in his genre, having played on numerous radio and TV broadcasts. Brett’s area of research includes trombone solo repertoire, modular instrument design and performance psychology. Brett has produced over 30 solo CDs, 8 under his own label of White River Evocations, being guest soloist on over 40 CDs. He has four sheet music solo albums and has arranged several solos for trombone and piano with Studio Music Publications.
Originally from the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, Brett was introduced to the trombone by his father. Brett studied Business Economics at Salford University, simultaneously joining the Fairey Brass Band under conductor Major Peter Parkes. At Fairey’s Brett’s reputation as one of the finest players of his generation was firmly established, he became British Open Trombone Solo Champion from 1993-5, studying with Professor David King. Brett’s first solo recording "Bone Idyll" accompanied by Fairey’s, released in 1996 gained much critical acclaim, his advisor being Denis Wick.
In 2000 Brett joined the Black Dyke Band under the Direction of Nicholas Childs having played on over 100 CD’s, highlights so far including overseas trips to the USA, Bermuda and Australia. Over a 30-year period Brett has won many competitions including Brass in Concert as the featured soloist and the North American Brass Band Championships, the Grand Shield, All England Masters and Australian National finals twice, the European Championships three times, the British Open Championships and English Nationals four times, National Championships of Great Britain five times and Yorkshire Area six times.
Brett enjoys presenting workshops specializing in solo performance. He has been guest trombone tutor on Star Lake Music camp near New York, the National Youth Band of Great Britain, and the Swiss National Youth Band. He is currently trombone tutor of the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain, The North American Brass Band Summer School, Dartington International Summer School and the International Brass Band Summer School in Swansea. As a consultant Brett has worked with Michael Rath Musical Instruments for over 12 years on instrument design and has assisted in production of a signature mouthpiece.
As a conductor, Brett has associations with many bands in the North of England, achieving contest successes with Northop, Ratby and Longridge bands, and was guest conductor of Tongwynlais Temperance at the National Finals of Great Britain in 2014. He is has guest conducted, The University of Salford Brass Band, Leyland Band, the Brass Band at the Royal Northern College of Music, Thoresby Colliery and Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Bands. Brett is currently director of the University of Salford Symphonic Wind Band.
As an adjudicator Brett has judged many competitions and festivals including the International Trombone Festival in the USA, the Thailand Low Brass Festival, the Australian and New Zealand Band Championships and the National Solo Championships in Sion, Switzerland. In the brass band arena as a member of ABBA (association of Brass Band Adjudicators) he has adjudicated at many association contests, Butlins Mineworkers Competition and the National Finals in the Netherlands, Lithuania, Australia and New Zealand, as well as numerous Regional Area Championships.