Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 16:41:38 +1100
From: Antoinette & Peter Uppman <>
Subject: Re: TOP - trumpets - Calicchio - Simeon

I know Simeon Christoff very well.
Had lessons with him many years ago when I lived in Brisbane, Australia, which is where he lives now, and am still in contact with him. To say that he's strange is certainly an understatement but over the years of knowing him (even to this day), I have learnt to accept and absorb from him, that which is right for me and discard that which isn't.
He certainly is an opinionated man with some rather unorthadox views on life but I've got to give credit where credit's due, he's probably had the most benificial influence to my career as a trumpet player than anyone I've ever met.
Among all the 'dross', he is an extremely clever man who lives and breathes trumpets and if there's anything to be learnt regarding the subject of trumpets, then he will have an answer for you, and more times than not, that answer will be a very insightful and informative one. Simeon is the person who introduced me to Calicchio trumpets, and for that alone, I am extremely thankful, for they truly are a great horn, but he also helped me at a time in my professional life as a trumpeter, when I couldn't understand why we players were putting up with these 'buckets' that we call mouthpieces.
I'd arrived at a time in my professional career when it didn't make sense to me to be playing on 16 - 17mm diameter mouthpieces for it seemed that a smaller diameter cup would give much better results and make life so much more easier (This was also at a time when I was performing 3 and 4 gigs EVERY day!). Through my own realization and with his guidance, I eventually over the years arrived at a mouthpiece which has proved optimum for me for several years now- a 14.25mm Cup Diameter!
Simeon had been playng this style of mouthpiece for many years (which he based on Maynard Fergusons mouthpiece dimensions) and of course, this setup is not right for everybody, for it took me years to be able to handle it, but it was a natural progression, and the results far outweigh the incessant practise that needs to be done to work with this particular setup. He also made me realize that a small diameter mouthpiece was not just for screamers but could give you whatever sound you were looking for, just with your approach to your playing and to the horn itself and in this department, I am in full agreement with him.
Anyway, for those who might wish to know a little more about the man, his website is-