Alison Balsom on Paris and music education


Alison Balsom at the Gramophone Awards 2014

The brilliant trumpeter talks to John Suchet ahead of presenting the Artist of the Year award.


Gramophone's Artist of the Year 2013 popped in to the star-studded award ceremony to present this year's Artist of the Year Award.

When she found out to whom she was presenting the award, Alison Balsom said she was "just thrilled".

The violinist Leonidas Kavakos is "just the most incredible musician," she told Classic FM's John Suchet. "He transcends the instrument, so elegant and so refined and such a great communicator."

Gramophone Awards Artist of the Year: through the years

Balsom also found time to discuss her new album Paris, John Suchet's recent choice for his Album of the Week.

The title for the album only emerged after all the tracks had been recorded, she revealed. "It must be something really deep inside me that drew me to Paris," she said.

She also has joined the debate about the rise in young people taking up learning rock music instruments in preference to more traditional ones - it's perhaps no wonder she spent the day launching the pTrumpet, an entirely plastic instrument designed to encourage more performers to take lessons.

"I don't think it matters what the instrument is," said Balsom. "Those instruments are very much the instruments that you can play in an ensemble with other people - and that very important for young people."

Alison Balsom

Alison Balsom Trumpeter Artist Alison Balsom

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