Born in York, England in 1964, Ian Bousfield is one of the most influential and
successful trombonists of our time. From a very early age he played in English
style brass bands to the highest level, something that instilled an incredibly
highly developed sense of ensemble playing which was to serve him well in his
later career as an orchestral player. With the Yorkshire Imperial Band he won
the British Open, National and Yorkshire championships.
After having won the London Symphony Music Scholarship aged fifteen and
serving a spell with the newly formed European Communities Youth Orchestra
under Claudio Abbado, an orchestral career was inevitable. After five years in the
Hallé Orchestra Ian became Principal trombone of the London Symphony
Orchestra in 1988 aged 23. This was very much a golden age for the LSO brass
section, containing many now legendary names. The great sense of teamwork at
the highest level is something that he now feels he can pass on to colleagues and
younger players. This was also the age of the CD; often the orchestra would make
one new CD every week, so his playing is heard on hundreds of recordings,
including many film soundtracks – for example Star Wars Episode I and
It came as something of a surprise to many when, in 2000, Ian took and won the
audition to become Solo Trombone with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna
State Opera, a job which he held until 2012. This was a time particularly close to
Ian’s heart, “it was wall-to-wall music, 24/7”. As an orchestral player Ian played
for the A-Z of the greatest conductors, and it was the admiration of their art that
led him to begin conducting himself.
As a soloist Ian has played with many orchestras and brass bands, highlights of
which were with the LSO and the Vienna Philharmonic under Riccardo Muti,
Michael Tilson Thomas, Kent Nagano, Sir Neville Marriner, Ion Marin, and
Tadaaki Otaka. He has appeared as soloist with all of the most famous brass
bands as well as the US Marine Band and Kosei Winds in Japan. He has many solo
recordings to his name from EMI, Chandos, Camerata and Doyen.
But eventually it was time to move on and concentrate on another great
passion–pedagogy. Having been Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London
since 1992, Ian took the decision to concentrate more on building his class when
he moved to the Hochschule der Künste in Bern, Switzerland. Despite many
offers from all corners of the world, Switzerland was the right fit for his new life.
His students are now amongst the most successful in the world, sitting in the
greatest orchestras, and 2014 saw Michael Buchanan win the first prize in the
renowned ARD competition in Munich.
Recent projects have included appearing as conductor and soloist with the brass
sections of the New World Symphony, Bern Symphony, Sonderborg Symphony
and Norlands Symphony.
Ian plays on the Getzen “4147 Ian Bousfield” trombone. He also has his own
highly successful range of mouthpieces on the market, as well as a substantial
book on trombone playing, “Unlocking the Trombone Code”. He was recipient of
the International Trombone Association lifetime award in 2012.