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Alison Balsom OBE

Honorary graduand for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Alison Balsom is an award-winning classical trumpeter who has performed at venues across the globe with some of the greatest conductors and orchestras of our time. Passionate about pushing the boundaries of her instrument, Alison has had numerous concertos written especially for her and collaborates with some of the world’s leading chamber ensembles and soloists.

She studied trumpet at the Paris Conservatoire and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and regularly teaches masterclasses worldwide, including at the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute. Alison’s awards include Artist of the Year at the 2013 Gramophone Awards, the Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Award, three Echo Klassik Awards and three Classic BRIT awards (two as Female Artist of the Year). In 2016, she received an OBE for services to music.

Alison was a soloist at the BBC Last Night of the Proms in 2009, and an exclusive Warner Classics artist (previously EMI) for nearly two decades – recording many critically acclaimed albums. In 2013, Alison conceived and then became creative producer and protagonist of the five-star reviewed production of Gabriel at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. From 2018 to 2019, she was the Artistic Director of Cheltenham Music Festival.

Recent highlights include residencies at the Wigmore Hall and Cambridge Corn Exchange, and concerto performances with the New York Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre National de Toulouse.

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