showing Olaf his handmade modern trumpet.
Francisco Pérez is a trumpeter
instrument maker living in
south of Alicante in Spain.
The 20th of November 2008, we visited him in his home (where he also
Francisco started playing trumpet when he was 11. He was not very happy
with his first teacher, but then he got a good one. This new teacher
would often give him very long lessons (4 hours). Francisco would
practice from the Clarke book (as written, then up one octave and then
octave). This practice gave Francisco a very solid foundation.
At the age of 19 he became the solo trumpet in the Alicante Symphony
Orchestra (1996 - 2000). After that, Francisco went to Mexico where he
held the principal position in Sinaloa State Symphony. He was invited
to audition for the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester and for the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra - the principal trumpet position (in 2003
In 1998, he bought his first baroque trumpet. Soon after he was
asked to perform works written for this instrument (by Handel, Bach
etc.). He also started fiddling with making trumpets, reading books
about brass instrument making, etc. Then about 2 years later he
Barclay and Matthew
Francisco's baroque trumpets.
Francisco makes copies of historical trumpets (Hanlein, Haas, Ehe etc.)
using historical methodes. Since the original trumpets by Hanns
Hanlein, Johann Haas, etc. had no vent holes, Francisco do not put vent
holes into his copies. Tubes are made from flat sheet of brass. To
bend the tubes, he fill them with lead or tin.
Francisco also builds modern trumpets and flugelhorns, and he makes
custom parts for Bach Stadivarius - leadpipes and tuning slides.
Building brass instruments is not only about discovering old
techniques. Today you also need modern equipment like computers, etc.
Francisco is also learning about these tools and he showed us the BIAS computer program. With this
program he could measure input impedance, pulse response
(disturbance analysis) and evaluate the intonation.
Two days before we met Francisco, he came back from Oman. There he had
finished making a trumpet of gold, (total weight 3 kilos) - the only
part not of gold was the valve section. It was the sultan who had
comissioned the instrument for one of his nephews. When Francisco arrived in
Oman they had set up a large workshop for him.
Soon Francisco will move to Oman (with his whole family) to take up a
teaching position there. Since the teaching was only 2 hours a day, he
would also have a lot of time to continue his intrument
In the summer of 2009, Francisco will give a one week instrument making
workshop in Benidorm, Spain. 7 - 8 particpants will make their own
2008 - Olaf, Rune and O.J.