Famously dubbed "the high priests of brass" by Newsweek, the American Brass Quintet has built a world of its own during the last sixty years, sculpting new repertoire and setting artistic standards for the modern classical brass ensemble. With the bright highs of two trumpets and the undergirding low of a bass trombone, the American Brass Quintet has expanded the reputation and catalogue of classical brass through both contemporary commissions and arrangements of canonical works not intended for horns. They've made it a mission to treat both past and present with equal zeal.
The American Brass Quintet begins with a suite of renaissance music. They find comfort in mourning with John Dowland's exquisite lute piece Lachrimae Antiquae, reimagine the intricate canzonettas and madrigals of Thomas Morley, and cavort through William Brade's delightful Canzon. The night then turns toward the new with Joan Tower's pulsing Copperwave, premiered for the hundredth anniversary of Julliard, where the quintet has been in residence for three decades. Kenneth Fuchs' second brass quintet, 2016's American, sometimes feels like a wonderfully warped fanfare. The night ends with Eric Ewazen's bubbly Colchester Fantasy, whose intoxicating movements are named for the wild times and characters of English pubs in what's believed to be the oldest town in Britain.