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The Norway Trumpet Forum

FINN INGEBRETSEN

In 1986 some enthusiastic music students founded the Norwegian Trumpet Forum (NTF). The purpose of the NTF is to establish and encourage the flow of information between trumpet players. This is mainly achieved through seminars and other arrangements and through a quarterly published periodical. The NTF can be regarded as a local supplement to the ITG, promoted in the same spirit and in close collaboration with ITG members. Today the NTF has more than 200 members, including about 20 from Sweden and Denmark. The NTF board consists of four members, two professional and two amateurs. The chairman is recently elected Euro-ITG advisory board member Odd Lund, and Euro-ITG vice-president  Bengt Eklund is a board member.

A rough estimate of the number of trumpet/cornet players in Norway yields about 10 - 15,000 of all ages and skill levels. (This is about 0.3% of the total population) Anyway, this large source of recruitment is still a challenge to the NTF.

The main annual event is a four to six-day seminar in collaboration with the Norwegian State Academy of Music, with instructors of high international reputation. In recent years we have had the pleasure of having seminars with famous trumpet teachers such as Vincent Cichowicz and Timofei Dokschitzer.

In January this year a very special seminar took place. Euro-ITG president Edward Tarr, proficiently assisted by his former student Niklas Eklund, instructed fifty Scandinavian trumpeters in the art of natural trumpet playing and baroque music interpretation.

The current wave of rapidly increasing popularity of historical instruments in general and the natural trumpet in particular has also reached Norway. The seminar turned out to be a great success as a further step in this development. There are different opinions on the value of this «nostalgic» wave, but there are some indisputable facts: the natural trumpet is, as Tarr put it a magnifying glass for erroneous playing techniques, breathing errors in particular. Furthermore, this physically very simple and crude instrument with its distinctive technical characters and timbre has inspired the greatest composers of the baroque era to create some of the most magnificent (and popular) music. The natural trumpet, with its characteristics, is therefore one important key to the problems of baroque music interpretation.

If one should look  for a seminar buzz word, «interpretation» would be a good candidate. Tarr’s knowledge and contributions in this field of musicology are highly reputed. Throughout the week he provided a lot of interesting information and examples from recent research, covering both the baroque and the classical periods.

No seminars without master classes, and both natural and modern trumpets were used. In addition, two concerts were given. Niklas Eklund, assisted by Edward Tarr in two pieces for two trumpets, gave an unforgettable church recital, brilliantly accompanied by Knut Johannessen on organ and harpsichord. And in the final concert, all participants with access to a natural trumpet made a joyful finale in Biber’s Sonata Sancti Polycarpi a` 9.

It was a great pleasure having Edward Tarr and Niklas Eklund work with us. They both deserved the NTF’s traditional «lur», a wooden straight natural trumpet, extremely difficult for clarino playing (as discovered a late night at an Oslo restaurant). The NTF is grateful to both, and we all look forward to seeing them again soon.

The NTF has a strong, but informal, connection to ITG through Odd Lund and Bengt Eklund. Furthermore, the seminar with the Euro-ITG president has strengthened these connections even more. A new workshop in 1995 with the ITG president Leonard Candelaria will make these informal connections close to perfect. The question therefore arises: Would it be an idea to establish a formal connection between the ITG and local associations such as the Norwegian Trumpet Forum?



This article was first printed December, 1994 in the ITG Journal.
It can be viewed in PDF-format at this URL: http://www.dana.edu/~itg/pdf/9412Inge.pdf