Dr Simon Desbruslais

Lecturer in Music and Performance Coordinator/ Musical Director, University of Hull Chapel Choir

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education


01482 466366

Dr Desbruslais is a trumpet soloist and musicologist, with active research interests in music theory, analysis, and performance studies.

He is author of The Music and Music Theory of Paul Hindemith (Boydell & Brewer), and was the first British scholar to publish in the Russian Journal of Music Theory.

In performance, Dr Desbruslais has an international profile which includes critically-acclaimed recordings.

In particular, he works with composers to commission new works, epitomised by his albums for Signum Classics, Psalm: Contemporary British Trumpet Concertos and The Art of Dancing. He also performs with many leading baroque ensembles using the natural trumpet.


Research Interests

  • Performance studies

  • Music theory and analysis

  • Performance practice

  • Choral music



The Music and Music Theory of Paul Hindemith (Boydell & Brewer, 2017).

Book Chapters

'Expressive Freedoms in Trumpet Performance', Music and Shape, ed. Daniel Leech-Wilkinson and Helen Prior (Oxford University Press, 2017).

'Towards a Musical Syntax in Paul Hindemith’s Solo Viola Sonata, Op. 25/1 (1922)', Histories and Narratives of Music Analysis, ed. Milos Zatkalik (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2013).


'The Western Reception of Sergei Taneyev', Russian Journal of Music Theory, Vol. 9/1 (2015).

'Hindemith The Unloved?', Arcomis Brass Event Guide, ed. Charles Wilson (2013).


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list


  • Advanced Performance I & II

  • Music in Practice I

  • Performance II


  • Research Methods

Research PhDs

Dr Desbruslais welcomes inquiries from potential graduate students relating to his research interests.

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BMus (Hons)

  • MMus

  • PGDip

  • DPhil (Oxon)

Professional highlights

Solo discography

  • 2017. English Symphony Orchestra and Clare Hammond, The Art of Dancing: New Concertos for Trumpet, Piano and Strings (Signum, August 2017) cond. Kenneth Woods

  • 2015. Choir of Worcester College Oxford, Benedicite for Trumpet and Choir (Resonus Classics)

  • 2014. The Orchestra of the Swan, British Trumpet Concertos (Signum Classics), cond. David Curtis and Kenneth Woods

  • 2014. Various artists, Historical Trumpet Recital (Oxford Bate Collection boxed set)

  • 2012. Choir of Queen’s College Oxford, Welcome all Wonders for Choir, Organ and Trumpet Solo (Signum Classics)

  • 2011. Charivari Agréable, Concerti Curiosi (Signum Classics), Johann Hertel, Third Trumpet Concerto

Ensemble discography

  • 2015. Austral Harmony, Harmonische Freude (Chaconne)

  • 2014. Classical Opera Company, Mozart, Mitridate (Signum Classics)

  • 2014. Ludus Baroque, Handel, The Triumph of Time and Truth (Delphian Records)

  • 2014. Charivari Agréable, Avanti l’Opera (Signum Classics)

  • 2014. Malcolm Martineau Ensemble, Poulenc Songs with Sir Thomas Allen (Signum Classics)

  • 2012. Ludus Baroque, Handel, Ode to St Cecelia (Delphian Records)

  • 2011. Charivari Agréable, Mozart, Vespers (Delphian Records)

  • 2010. Classical Opera Company, Arne, Artaxerxes (Linn Records)

Selected Performances

Performances focus on the commissioning and promotion of new solo music for trumpet, in addition to regular appearances on period instruments, particularly the natural trumpet. The following is a selection from the last few years (further details may be found at www.simondesbruslais.com).


  • Vik, Iceland, world premiere of 'Voyage: part 2' by Deborah Pritchard, introduced by the Major of Vik and Her Majesty´s Ambassador to Iceland

  • Tianjin Normal University, China, recital of new works for trumpet and piano, and trumpet and string quartet, Ensemble Fractus

  • Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, world premiere of 'Fanfare from the Edge' by Mark Slater

  • Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, recent and new works for trumpet/trumpet and string quartet by Tom Armstrong, John Cooney and Mark Slater, Ensemble Fractus

  • Neskirkja Church, Iceland, Handel's Judas Maccabeus with Barrokksveit Vesturbæjar and Kór Neskirkju (first performance in Iceland using natural trumpet)

  • Hull City of Culture 2017, World Premiere of 'Voyage: part 1' by Deborah Pritchard, North Alantic Flux Festival

  • Homerton College, Cambridge, Cambridge premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' 'Quintet', Ligeti Quartet

  • BBC Radio 3 'In Tune', Live performance of a section from Deborah Pritchard's 'Voyage', in addition to conducting the University of Hull Chapel Choir

  • St Mary's Church, Warwick (Leamington Music), Telemann Trumpet Concerto, J S Bach Cantata BWV 51, Brook Street Band and Soprano Nicki Kennedy


  • Hallgrimskirkja, Iceland, James Macmillan, 'In Splendoribus Sanctorum' with Choir of the Iceland Academy of the Arts

  • Lunchtime recital, Yehudi Menuhin School, featuring the world premiere of John Cooney's 'At the still point...' for solo trumpet alongside Berio's Sequenza X and Deborah Pritchard's 'Seven Halts on the Somme'

  • Middleton Hall, Hull, English Symphony Orchestra cond. Kenneth Woods, world premiere of double concerto by Nimrod Borenstein with pianist Clare Hammond, and Deborah Pritchard Trumpet Concerto 'Seven Halts on the Somme'

  • Leighton House Museum, London, Deborah Pritchard's 'Seven Halts on the Somme' for trumpet and piano

  • Yehudi Menuhin School Orchestra, Robert Saxton's 'Shakespeare Scenes'

  • Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, World premiere of Toby Young, 'Fanfare for Arvo Part'

  • Hull City Hall, lunchtime recital with organist Stephen Farr

  • Cheltenham Town Hall, BBC National Orchestra of Wales cond. Rachel Podger, J S Bach, Second Brandenburg Concerto

  • Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, BBC National Orchestra of Wales cond. Rachel Podger, J S Bach, Second Brandenburg Concerto, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3

  • Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, Oxford, Deborah Pritchard, Skyspace (concerto for piccolo trumpet and strings) cond. John Traill with St Anne's Camerata

  • Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, world premiere of John Traill's Trumpet Concerto, Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra cond. John Traill

  • St Anne's College, Oxford, world premiere of Luke Bedford's 'Three Caves', with Clare Hammond (piano) alongside Edwin Roxburgh's Pro Patria Mori