Alison Balsom: “Keep Going, Keep Seeking Out New Experiences That Remind You Why You Love It and That Inspire You All Over Again”
Assistant Professor of Trumpet at University of Tennessee Knoxville.
Alison Balsom, renowned trumpeter and one of the most successful soloists in history, shares insights into her musical odyssey in this comprehensive interview. Beginning with her early exposure to the trumpet at the age of seven, Balsom traces the pivotal moments and influences that shaped her artistic identity. Delving into the intricate relationship between personality and musical expression, she reflects on finding her unique voice as an artist, emphasizing the importance of emotional resonance in captivating an audience.
Balsom’s versatility as an artist is explored, with a focus on her ability to perform across diverse styles and settings. She articulates the challenges inherent in maintaining excellence and the continual pursuit of musical exploration. The interview further delves into her passion for period instruments, particularly the natural trumpet, and the transformative impact it had on her understanding of baroque music.
A highlight of the interview is Balsom’s recounting of the unconventional and successful project “Gabriel,” where she brought seventeenth-century music to life at the Globe in London. Blurring the boundaries between theater and music, Balsom shares the joy and challenges of this unique endeavor, showcasing the trumpet’s historical significance.
The interview concludes with a discussion of gender dynamics in the male-dominated world of trumpet playing. Balsom offers valuable advice to aspiring trumpet players, emphasizing perseverance, creating opportunities, and staying true to one’s creative instincts.
As Balsom embarks on a new musical journey with a five-album deal with Warner, the conversation unveils the inspiration behind her latest project, “Quiet City.” Exploring American music from the 20th century, she discusses the significance of the selected works and her approach to bridging the gap between classical and jazz genres.
Finally, Balsom shares glimpses into her life outside the realm of music, touching on her roles as a mother, home renovator, and community contributor. The interview provides a comprehensive portrait of Alison Balsom, offering a profound understanding of her artistic evolution, challenges faced, and the boundless passion that continues to drive her forward in the world of classical and contemporary trumpet performance.