O.J.'s Trumpet Page Articles and reviews

Francisco Pérez

Francisco and Olaf
Francisco showing Olaf his handmade modern trumpet.

Francisco Pérez is a trumpeter and instrument maker living in Santa Pola, south of Alicante in Spain.

The 20th of November 2008, we visited him in his home (where he also has his workshop).

Francisco started playing trumpet when he was 11. He was not very happy with his first teacher, but then he got a good one. This new teacher would often give him very long lessons (4 hours). Francisco would practice from the Clarke book (as written, then up one octave and then down one octave). This practice gave Francisco a very solid foundation.

At the age of 19 he became the solo trumpet in the Alicante Symphony Orchestra (1996 - 2000). After that, Francisco went to Mexico where he held the principal position in Sinaloa State Symphony. He was invited to audition for the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester and for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra - the principal trumpet position (in 2003 and 2004).

In 1998, he bought his first baroque trumpet. Soon after he was asked to perform works written for this instrument (by Handel, Bach etc.). He also started fiddling with making trumpets, reading books about brass instrument making, etc. Then about 2 years later he attended courses with Bob Barclay and Matthew Parker.

Baroque trumpets made by Francisco
Some of Francisco's baroque trumpets.

Making instruments:
Francisco makes copies of historical trumpets (Hanlein, Haas, Ehe etc.) using historical methodes. Since the original trumpets by Hanns Hanlein, Johann Haas, etc. had no vent holes, Francisco do not put vent holes into his copies. Tubes are made from flat sheet of brass. To bend the tubes, he fill them with lead or tin.

Francisco also builds modern trumpets and flugelhorns, and he makes custom parts for Bach Stadivarius - leadpipes and tuning slides.

Building brass instruments is not only about discovering old techniques. Today you also need modern equipment like computers, etc. Francisco is also learning about these tools and he showed us the BIAS computer program. With this program he could measure input impedance, pulse response (disturbance analysis) and evaluate the intonation.

Two days before we met Francisco, he came back from Oman. There he had finished making a trumpet of gold, (total weight 3 kilos) - the only part not of gold was the valve section. It was the sultan who had comissioned the instrument for one of his nephews. When
Francisco arrived in Oman they had set up a large workshop for him.

Soon Francisco will move to Oman (with his whole family) to take up a teaching position there. Since the teaching was only 2 hours a day, he would also have a lot of time to continue his intrument making business.

Instrument making workshop:
In the summer of 2009, Francisco will give a one week instrument making workshop in Benidorm, Spain. 7 - 8 particpants will make their own baroque trumpets.



November 2008 - Olaf, Rune and O.J.