Nevis Ensemble announces John Wallace CBE as first Ambassador

Nevis Ensemble is thrilled to announce world-renowned virtuoso trumpeter and music education advocate John Wallace CBE as its first Ambassador.

Nevis’ Ambassadors will fly the flag for the orchestra, and help us in our mission to take music to everyone, everywhere

On becoming a Nevis Ambassador, John says: ‘Nevis is at the front of a new wave rippling through Scotland’s music scene. The ensemble is taking music to new heights and over distant horizons to places and people that want and need their culture to live.’

Born in Fife, John Wallace grew up in the brass band tradition and went on to become Principal Trumpet with the Philharmonia Orchestra after periods with the Royal Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras. In 1986 he created the internationally acclaimed brass group, The Wallace Collection and in 2002 he took up the position as Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) – a position he held until leaving in 2014 to resume his musical career, reforming The Wallace Collection, and composing new music for brass. 

In 1981, John’s career took an opportune twist when he played the trumpet obligato to Kiri Te Kanawa’s soprano in the Handel aria, Let the Bright Seraphim conducted by Sir David Willcocks, at the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. During his subsequent career as a soloist, John played concertos under many conductors including Simon Rattle, Andrew Davis, Riccardo Muti, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, and premiered new works by Malcolm Arnold, Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle, and James MacMillan, amongst many others.

John’s international career as a highly acclaimed virtuoso trumpet player, educationalist, published composer and co-editor of Companion to Brass Instruments and History of The Trumpet have combined to establish him as a musician of enormous distinction.  John was awarded the OBE in 1995 in recognition of his distinguished services to Music, and the CBE in 2011 for services to Dance, Music and Drama in Scotland.