Described as “…simply divine” by Sunday Telegraph, Alison Balsom’s life in music has been much more than as a virtuoso and ambassador for her instrument. Her outstanding talent and approach to trumpet repertoire have been critically acclaimed, and she has engaged herself more widely in creating new formats and pathways for her creative life.
Alison Balsom has performed with many of the greatest conductors and orchestras of our time including Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel, Sir Roger Norrington, Trevor Pinnock, Orchestre de Paris, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco and Toronto Symphony orchestras, New York and London Philharmonic orchestras, Britten Sinfonia, the Academy of Ancient Music, Scottish Ensemble, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, The English Concert, where she has been a trustee since 2020, as well as The Balsom Ensemble, a handpicked group of leading Baroque soloists.
Alison has recorded exclusively with EMI Classics (now Warner Classics) since 2001. Her fifteenth and most recent recording Quiet City was released in August 2022. Alison is a three-time recipient of Germany’s Echo Klassik Award and three Classic BRIT awards — two of which as Female Artist of the Year. Alison was named Gramophone Artist of the Year 2013 and has received a Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Award.
During her time as Artistic Director of Cheltenham Music Festival in 2018 and 2019, Alison brought together the London Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Academy of Ancient Music with soloists Nicola Benedetti, Jess Gillam and Danielle de Niese; she commissioned twenty new works to celebrate the Festival’s 75th anniversary and founded the contemporary music symposium — Composium.
Alison commissioned and gave the Premiere of Thea Musgrave’s Trumpet Concerto at Cheltenham Music Festival, and its US premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in 2021. Constantly exploring the boundaries of her instrument, she has had numerous concertos written for her including World Premieres of Qigang-Chen’s Joie Eternelle and Guy Barker’s Lanterne of Light at the BBC Proms.
Alison was awarded an OBE for Services to Music in the Queens 90th Birthday honours in 2016.