Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (trumpet)
Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood is a performer, recording producer, writer, educator and Principal of the Royal Academy of Music in London. His earliest professional experience was as a ten-year-old singing in the chorus of Glyndebourne and its Touring Opera. He subsequently studied at the University of Toronto and Christ Church, Oxford before pursuing a career principally as a freelance trumpet player. During this time he became interested in record production - especially in chamber contexts - alongside broadcasting and is a regular contributor to Gramophone and many other publications. Since 1990 he has also held a number of positions at the Royal Academy of Music where he was charged with leading the pioneering new degree in performance studies under the aegis of King's College London. He became Vice-Principal and Director of Studies at the Academy in 1995, a post he held until 2008.
As a trumpet player, Freeman-Attwood has attracted critical acclaim from the press for his solo recordings, most notably in a series for Linn which explores how the trumpet may be retrospectively ‘re-imagined' within established traditions of mainstream solo and chamber music. The first of these, with John Wallace, titled The Trumpets That Time Forgot, heralded a flurry of transcriptions for trumpet and piano with Daniel-Ben Pienaar, including a virtuosic arrangement of Fauré's Violin Sonata, Op. 108 (La Trompette Retrouvée) and a recording of seventeenth-century instrumental and vocal arrangements (Trumpet Masque), which won High Fidelity's Recording of the Year (2008) and was praised for its ‘extraordinary playing, switching between fizzy fireworks and tender pathos with ease' (The Observer). Sonatas by Edvard Grieg, Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann (Romantic Trumpet Sonatas) and an innovative recital of works by eleven members of the Bach family (A Bach Notebook for Trumpet) were released in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Freeman-Attwood also plans to release, with Pienaar, a major new re-working of Stravinsky's Pulcinella (by kind permission of Boosey and Hawkes) alongside other Neo-Classical pieces.
Freeman-Attwood has produced well over two-hundred commercial recordings for many of the world's leading independent labels including Naxos, BIS, Chandos, Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi USA, Channel Classics and AVIE. Several of his productions have won major awards, including Diapasons d'Or, eight Gramophone Awards and numerous nominations over the last twenty years with artists such as Rachel Podger, the Cardinall's Musick, Trevor Pinnock, Phantasm, I Fagiolini, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Daniel-Ben Pienaar and various leading cathedral choirs. He produced Gramophone's ‘Record of the Year' in 2010 - the final volume of William Byrd's Latin Church Music for Hyperion. In 1997, he founded the in-house label of the Royal Academy of Music as a means of introducing talented young artists to the creative challenges of the studio.
An educator and scholar, he continues to be active as a lecturer, critic and contributor to journals and books, including The New Grove (2nd edition), The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music and to BBC Radio 3. He is an established authority on Bach interpretation, particularly as it challenges and refocuses historical perspectives on performance practices, and writes essays regularly for EMI, Warner, Deutsche Grammophon, Universal and other major record labels.
In July 2008, Freeman-Attwood became the fourteenth Principal of the Royal Academy of Music, founded in 1822. He was appointed a Fellow of King's College London in 2009, a Trustee of the University of London in 2010 and a Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music in 2013. He is also a Trustee and Chair of the Artistic Advisory Committee of Garsington Opera, a Trustee of the Young Classical Artists' Trust (YCAT), the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and the Countess of Munster Trust.
‘A multi-talented trumpeter, academic and Renaissance Man.' BBC Music Magazine
‘Outstanding playing with a dynamic range of lively dialogue and solo lyricism in virtuoso style.' The Observer
‘Freeman-Attwood's playing is notable for the beauty and freedom of line. While the bravura is exhilarating.' Gramophone
‘Jonathan Freeman-Attwood displays his trademark vibrant sound, overcomes all the technical and musical demands with consummate ease, the upper range always precise and assured, and his stamina is a lesson for all aspiring trumpet soloists.' Brass Review
‘I find this recording quite thrilling... a treat to be reminded what an excellent trumpeter Freeman-Attwood is.' Classic FM (David Mellor's ‘Choice for the Curious')
American Record Guide
'Jonathan Freeman-Attwood has a pure trumpet tone quality...'more >>Limelight
'An agreeable Bachian tonic to cure jaded musical sensibilities'more >>International Record Review
'wonderfully clean and vibrant lines contrast with the elaborate shapes of J.S. ...The programme is very well sequenced. As for the playing itself, I can find no fault: Jonathan Freeman-Attwood is clearly an amazing trumpeter and Daniel-Ben Pienaar, who has arranged all but one of the items deftly, is more than equal to the technical demands he sets himself. A very enjoyable release.’Northamptonshire Telegraph
‘…all-round Renaissance Man Jonathan Freeman-Attwood appl[es] is his vibrant technique…in a unique recital…well worth investigating.’more >>artswrap.co.uk
'Jonathan Freeman-Attwood has attracted much attention for his standard of playing on the trumpet and is an established Bach interpreter.'more >>BBC Radio 3 'CD Review'
'...a nice combination of shameless ingenuity, infectious verve, and genuine panache'more >>AllMusic.com
'...for sheer originality this has to take some kind of prize.'more >>Brass Band World
Q&A session with Jonathan Freeman-Attwoodmore >>Brass Band World
'Freeman-Attwood's warm tone and crystalline articulation in fact blends beautifully with the piano, whilst the sense of synergy between the two performers keeps the listener focused on the direction of the music.'more >>Gramophone
'A totally refreshing disc.'more >>Brass Review
'There is a special beauty in the playing of Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, supported by Daniel-Ben Pienaar's stunning accompaniment on this album. Their performance is vibrant, lyrical, making for compulsive serious listening.'more >>MusicWeb International
'...Freeman-Attwood has a simply golden tone and full command of his instrument...'more >>Gramophone
'...full of lyricism and life...'more >>International Record Review
"Freeman-Attwood and Pienaar deliver all four pieces with tremendous panache...The listener can simply sit back and enjoy it all."more >>AudioVideoHD
'...Jonathan Freeman-Atwood nos abre a una nueva dimensión sonora en la que la trompeta...'more >>BCB Radio 3 - CD Review
‘The transcriptions and the performances are impressive...'more >>Audiophile Audition
"...these works sound glorious in their new clothes..."more >>Brass Review
"Exquisite...They are the perfect dream team."more >>Opus HD
"...le jeu sobre et retenue de Jonathan Freeman-Attwood fait merveille dans les pages les plus méditatives du programme..."more >>International Record Review
"...[an] exceptional recital."more >>Gramophone
"...Jonathan Freeman-Attwood's playing is notable for the beauty and freedom of line of his lyrical phrasing, while the bravura is exhilarating."more >>Sunday Herald
"...their performances simply glow..."more >>Opus Musica (translation)
Disc of the Month! "This recording surprises and commands, almost immediately, a second and third listening."more >>Opus Musica
'Disc of the Month' from the Spanish publication!more >>The Herald
"...dazzling, stunningly articulate and soulful duets for piano and trumpet."more >>Atlanta Audio Society
"...a splendid program of thrilling and colorful music..."more >>Metro
"a delightful curiosity"more >>The Scotsman
"compelling listening...red-hot performances"more >>Brass Review
"La Trompette Retrouvée" should be in every trumpet player's collection.more >>Super Fidelity - Australian Hi-Fi
A fine addition to the repertoire.more >>International Record Review
Freeman-Attwood is "bright, clean, precise and delivers performances of narrative elegance devoid of any in-your-face brassiness".more >>Gramophone
Apart from his nimble dexterity, Freeman-Attwood's playing is just as striking for the beauty of his lyrical phrasing and his richness of colour...more >>Audiophile Audition
A fine addition to the trumpet-piano repertoire.more >>High Fidelity
...it is a fantastic record!more >>Atlanta Audio Society
Rediscovered, or renovated?more >>Classicstoday.com
This intelligently produced recital represents modern trumpet-playing--and programming--at its bestmore >>The Scotsman
Efforless virtuositymore >>