The LSO’s Principal Trumpet for 30 years, Maurice Murphy, retired from the orchestra in June 2007 – truly the end of an era. Maurice is one of the best known, most admired and loved trumpeters in the world. In this exclusive programme, Tommy Pearson takes an affectionate journey through Maurice’s career, talks to many of his colleagues and friends and hears some of his greatest moments as a player.
Composer John Williams talks about the first Star Wars sessions – Maurice’s first notes as principal in the LSO – and how he subsequently wrote with Maurice in mind for Superman, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter; Michael Tilson Thomas recalls the power of a Maurice Mahler 5; Co-Principal Rod Franks talks about his 43 year friendship with Maurice; many other colleagues, including Gerry Ruddock, Nigel Gomm, Patrick Harrild and Gerald Newson contribute their own memories; and we also hear from Maurice’s family – his son Martin and wife Shirley.
But at the centre of the programme is an interview with Maurice himself, as he looks back on an extraordinary career from boy wonder in brass bands, losing out to a Pearly King in Opportunity Knocks, becoming principal cornet in Black Dyke, moving into classical music with the BBC Northern, and landing the LSO job. We also hear speeches and tributes recorded at Maurice’s LSO retirement party in June.
It is the portrait of a legend; but one who remains modest and humble. “I’m just another trumpeter who’s been very lucky” he says. No-one believes that for a moment.