Principal Trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra 1977 – 2007
- Maurice played a Maurice Murphy 2C
- All royalties from this range go to Maurice’s widow, Shirley.
Maurice Murphy was the leading British trumpet player of his generation, and as the Principal Trumpet in many film recordings his distinctive trumpet sound became one of the most frequently heard in the world. In his youth Maurice Murphy learned the cornet and was a member of various brass bands including Henton Colliery and Crookhall Colliery Bands, the Yorkshire Engineering and Welding Company Band, and the Fairey Aviation Band, Stockport, during which time he worked as an electrician.
In 1956 he became solo cornet with the world famous Black Dyke Mills Band where he played until 1961. At this time he played the trumpet with the Hallé Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and he became the principal trumpet of the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra (now called the BBC Philharmonic) in 1961, a post he held until 1976. He also taught at the Royal Northern College of Music from 1974 to 1977.
His career reached its height during his thirty-year tenure as Principal Trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), where for the years 1977 – 1986 he sat next to Principal Trombone Denis Wick. As well playing all the orchestral repertoire for the finest conductors in the world Maurice also featured on many film soundtracks including all six Star Wars films. Star Wars was his first job after being given Principal Trumpet chair in the LSO and Maurice’s unmistakable sound helped cement the relationship between composer John Williams and the LSO. John Williams describes the “amazing, electrifying moment” when he first heard Maurice and the LSO brass launch into the opening bars of Star Wars, the sound that created “the voice of a hero”.
Maurice’s heroic sound became part of film history, and he went on to record the soundtracks for the Harry Potter films, 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, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Gladiator, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, We Were Soldiers, some of the James Bond movies, and many more.
In 2008 Maurice received the Honorary Award of the International Trumpet Guild at the 2008 ITG Conference in Banff, 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.
Maurice Murphy died on 28 October 2010, aged 75.