West, Jeremy

jeremy_westSince the mid 1970s Jeremy West has been a passionate advocate for the cornett (the muchoverlooked wind instrument held in highest esteem during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries). He has played a leading role in re-establishing this instrument as a recognised virtuoso and ensemble instrument and now has forty years playing and recording experience with many of Europe’s leading renaissance and early baroque ensembles. Often regarded as a ‘pioneer’ of his instrument, he is a founder member of His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts – the leading ensemble of its kind, now over 30 years old – and Principal Wind Player with the Gabrieli Consort and Players for their earlier repertoire. He has more than 60 recordings to his credit and concert performances have taken him to more than 30 countries across four continents.

In addition to his playing career, since 1991 Jeremy has directed the instrument-making workshops of the late Christopher Monk. These workshops are devoted to the research, development, reproduction and world-wide distribution of all instruments in the cornett and serpent families. Examples of the workshop’s output, and in particular of the extraordinarily popular resin cornett – an instrument which has inspired and enabled the majority of today’s players – may be found from New York to New Zealand, Scandinavia to South America.

His most recent challenge and interest lies in playing music of the 19th and early 20th centuries on original brass. To this end, equipped simply with an Eb horn from France, dated 1855, he plays with consummate alacrity for the Queen Victoria’s Consort.

Jeremy is on the teaching staff at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. And he is a Musician in Residence at Girton College, University of Cambridge.

In his spare time Jeremy plays horn for the City of Cambridge Brass Band, where he enjoys the continual challenge of repertoire which is quite outside his professional experience and in addition to this, the opportunity to meet with like-minded people from all walks of life.