Thursday, January 18, 2018

Can anyone help to make this reality?

Dr Sokol Saraci, Professor of Trumpet, University of the Arts, Tirana, Albania

 As a professional trumpet player I would describe the brass (especially trumpet) situation in Albania as follows:
The Albanian brass school has shown good progress, after enduring a poor and isolated political and economic history in Albania during the 1990s. Looking back, I can remember how hard it was for us. After graduating we had to build step by step a professional background, seeking out information that could help to make us well educated, so we could feel comfortable facing the world.
Contact with Western musical traditions and expanding our knowledge and exchanging artistic experiences with our American colleagues developed a complete different level in the Albanian brass school. It also gave professional players access to quality pedagogical sources, so of course most things are definitely getting better.
However, as a professional player, and professor and teaching every day in the University of Arts in Albania, I am concerned about many unresolved issues, in particular the diversity of trumpets. All Albanian trumpet players - orchestral performers, professionals and students - only have a Bb trumpet. This creates not only difficulties in performing original orchestrations in various music styles, but it also makes gives us huge problems with transpositions. However at present funds are not available for these additional instruments.
My desire is to create a real trumpet laboratory in the University to give the students the chance to play all types of instruments:  flugelhorn, cornet, trumpets in C, D and Eb, natural trumpet and piccolo trumpet. It would be amazing for them to feel all those sounds and to have the possibility to discover all the tone colours of each instrument, to experience a wide trumpet repertoire, and raise their playing to another level.
Being a teacher and guide to my students has always been my dream, and that is what I hope for the future – to open a new window for the next generation.. I will always search for improvement, which means sometimes dreaming of a different reality. As the great Richard Wagner said: ‘Imagination creates Reality’.
Dr. Sokol Saraci
Professor of Trumpet, University of the Arts, Tirana, Albania 2018

Sokol Saraci is professor of trumpet and director of the chamber music and wind instrument department in the University of Arts in Albania. His education started with a degree from the University of Tirana and continued with a master’s degree from the University of Tetovo, Macedonia. After that he won a Fulbright Scholarship to the Truman State University in Missouri USA. On returning to Albania he gained a PhD with his research into wind orchestras in Albania. His publication Trumpet and the Trumpet Player is a guide to daily practice. He is well known as a successful teacher, bringing inspiration, brightness and wisdom to his trumpet classes.
He has been principal trumpet in the National Opera in Tirana for many years. He also plays chamber music and appears as a concerto soloist in Albania and around Europe.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Someone to Watch in 2018

Thomas Simaku - composer - b. 1958

When Thoma (Thomas) Simaku first came to the UK from Albania in 1991 it was the beginning of a long and fruitful friendship with Emerson Edition. Little did we anticipate the musical heights he would achieve in subsequent years.The first work we published was his haunting Nokturn for clarinet and piano, which has been a favourite with clarinettists ever since. Fortunately for us he produced several more wind pieces before the big world took over, and he was able to develop his full potential internationally. He has been winning awards and prizes ever since. In 2013 he won the International Competition for Lutoslawski's 100th Birthday with Concerto for Orchestra. It was chosen from 160 compositions submitted anonymously from 37 countries. He now holds a senior position as Reader in Composition at the University of York.


Sea Images - flute & piano
From Across the Sea - flute trio
Nokturn - clarinet & piano
Four Wedding Songs and a Dance - clarinet & piano
Tanglewood Trio - clarinet, viola, piano
Andante & Scherzo - 4 bassoons
Six Albanian Folk-Songs - horn & piano
The Eagles - 4 tpt, hn, 4 tbn, tba
Elephas Maximus - 2fl, 2ob, 2cl, 2bn, cbn, 2hn



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Last Posting Dates - Christmas 2017

Last Posting Dates

To ensure you don't miss the last post before Christmas,
these are the December deadlines that Royal Mail have issued:


(Applies to all international airmail services)
Friday 1st December:
Africa, Middle East
Wednesday 6th December:
Asia, Cyprus, Far East, Eastern Europe
(except Czech Republic, Poland & Slovakia)
Thursday 7th December:
Caribbean, Central & South America
Friday 8th December:
Australia, Greece & New Zealand
Wednesday 13th December:
Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
Thursday 14th December:
Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA
Friday 15th December:
Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal,
Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia,
Spain, Switzerland, Belgium,
France, Ireland & Luxembourg


Wednesday 20th December:
Royal Mail First Class
Thursday 21st December:
Royal Mail Special Delivery

Christmas Closing Dates

Our office will close at 12pm (midday) on Friday 22nd December and 
will re-open on Tuesday 2nd January 2018.
All orders placed online during that period will be despatched as soon as possible.
If your order is particularly urgent, please let us know and
we will prioritise despatch for Tuesday if at all possible.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


What's your Favourite Wind Quintet?


When looking for a photo of this composer smiling, this is the nearest I could find. Nevertheless there is humour and tenderness in his music, and it's a pity that it isn't heard more often. When my quintet gets together there is nearly always a moment when someone says 'Oh let's play the Milhaud!'
On a concert-giving holiday near Aix-en-Provence a couple of us tracked down his house and found it was a sub-police-station on the ring road. We bounced into the front office and asked whether it would be possible to come and play his quintet in his house. The desk-sergeant, or whatever they are called in Provence, looked completely blank. Who was this 'Milhaud' and what were these two bizarre Englishwomen on about? I believe the building has since been demolished.

Each of the seven short movements of 'La Cheminée du Roi René is a little masterpiece, with its own character, style and unexpected but delicious harmonies. It starts with a solemn village procession, followed by a gentle summer Morning Serenade. The Jugglers come along next, larking about, followed by a rather poignant dance-like 'Maousinglade'. 'Joutes sur L'Arc' is a lively jousting contest on the river Arc, followed by an energetic hunting scene, where the piccolo adds some fizz to the activity.
My favourite movement of all is the final Madrigal - Nocturne. You can imagine that all the villagers have gone home, exhausted, and the countryside is bathed in moonlight. The ending is heart-stoppingly tender.
June Emerson

Friday, November 17, 2017

Musicans - travelling to Albania?

Not only is Albania a stunningly beautiful country but in the capital Tirana you will be sure to find a bunch of friendly musicians. The Akademie e Arteve (Academy of Arts, or Conservatoire) is at one end of the imposing boulevard right in the centre of the city.
There's a cafe outside on the south side where students and their professors hang out to talk and drink coffee between sessions. Anyone can sit at a table and say to someone nearby 'any horn players about?' Before long you'll be sure to have found a gang, and be drinking toasts. telling jokes and swapping stories.

Fatos Qerimaj (clarinet) and Edmond Sinani (violin)

Pull up a chair and make yourself at home!

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Mahler's Monumental One
Want to play?

Artistic Director Levon Parikian kicks off the Rehearsal Orchestra's 2018 London weekend series with a two-day course on Mahler's monumental Seventh Symphony.
Rehearsals take place in the afternoon on Saturday and all day on Sunday January 27th/28th, culminating in early evening open rehearsal at the Henry Wood Hall, Trinity Church Square, London SE1 4HU.
Applications are invited from players who are Grade 8 plus and good sight-readers (or keen to improve their sight-reading).

Levon Parikian - Artistic Director
The Rehearsal Orchestra


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Playing Wagner
with the stars of the future

The Rehearsal Orchestra
The Rehearsal Orchestra is a musical charity that runs weekend and full-week orchestral courses for future professionals and serious amateurs. Since 1957, they have offered high-level training through intensive rehearsal, exploring key orchestral repertoire with prominent conductors, and professional string section leaders. This supportive, non-competitive environment allows players to grow as musicians without the pressure of concert giving. Places on every course are heavily subsidised to enable as many players as possible to benefit from the opportunities they offer.
Levon Parikian - Artistic Director

Review of 2017 Wagner weekend