Tribute to Colleague and Trumpeter

Maurice Murphy - Trumpet

1935 - 2010

Maurice Harrison Murphy MBE (7 August 1935–28 October 2010) was a British musician, and was Principal Trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra from 1977 to 2007.

He was born in Hammersmith in 1935. He grew up playing in brass bands in Yorkshire, and notably was Principal Cornet of the world famous Black Dyke Mills Band from 1956 to 1961. His transition from brass bands to orchestral work was helped with stints with the Hallé and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

He held the position of Principal Trumpet with the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra (now the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra) from 1961 and in 1977 joined the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) as Principal Trumpet, a position he held for 30 years until his retirement in 2007.

Murphy can be heard on film soundtracks including all six Star Wars films (his first role as Principal Trumpet in the LSO), Superman: The Movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Gangs of New York, Johnny English, Reign of Fire, a solo in Mr. Holland’s Opus, Philadelphia, Batman, the Alien movies, Frankenstein, Gladiator, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, We Were Soldiers and many more.

Maurice Murphy officially retired from the orchestra on October 16, 2000, but continually had his contract renewed between then and his real retirement on 3 June 2007. His last concert as principal trumpet of the LSO was in a performance of Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius.

In 2008 Murphy received the Honorary Award of the International Trumpet Guild, given to those "who have made extraordinary contributions to the art of trumpet playing". He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.

"Surely one of the greatest orchestral trumpet players of all time who, on joining the LSO in 1977, helped move the orchestra's overall standard up a gear. It was one of the most exciting aspects of life as an LSO player to hear such wonderful trumpet playing coming from behind - truly inspiring." (JG)

Maurice Murphy died on 28 October 2010.


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