Nicholas Thompson, Principal Trumpet

Nicholas Thompson was appointed Principal Trumpet of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in 1988.

He started to play the cornet in his local brass band at the age of 5, and at 11 years old he was the British Cornet Champion. At 14 he began to study the trumpet with the legendary trumpeter, John Wilbraham, then Principal Trumpet of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and in 1976 he went to study at the Royal Academy of Music and entered the profession in 1980.

For ten years, between October 2000 and September 2010, Nicholas was Head of Woodwind, Brass and Percussion at the London College of Music and combined this role with the COE and the development of a busy freelance career, with work ranging from symphony orchestras to chamber ensembles and recitals.

More recently Nicholas has played a lead role in the COE’s educational projects and collaborations, including working with brass players of JONC in Spain. He also coached the brass and winds of the chamber orchestra at The Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester in 2013 and 2014. Further collaborations with the EUYO have also been initiated. In May 2017, Nicholas was appointed Head of Wind, Brass and Percussion at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

Coaching and conducting both wind and brass ensembles have also become a major part of Nick’s work portfolio, with recent projects including directing the Championship Section ‘Regent Brass’ in London and the Royal Air Force, Cranwell Band.

The Principal Trumpet Chair is supported by The Underwood Trust.

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