Ein Heldenleben: Brass Facts

The large orchestral forces required for Ein Heldenleben include a massive brass section consisting of:

8 French horns
3 trumpets
2 E-flat trumpets
3 trombones

By our extremely unscientific calculations, if you straightened out all these instruments they would stretch approximately 53 metres, longer than an Olympic-sized swimming pool!  (Though if any brass players have some more specific measurements they can share then we stand corrected!)

During the piece the three B-flat trumpet players walk offstage to perform distant fanfares in ‘The Hero’s Companion’ section of the work.

We are grateful to brass colleagues from other orchestras for coming to boost our ranks for this performance!  Here’s our extended French horn section in Madrid last week:

Ein Heldenleben French horn section

How many French horn players does it take to change a lightbulb...?


About Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Acknowledged as one of the UK’s most prestigious orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) enjoys an international reputation for bringing audiences worldwide first-class performances and the highest possible standards of music-making across a diverse range of musical repertoire. This was the vision of the Orchestra’s flamboyant founder Sir Thomas Beecham, whose legacy is maintained today as the Orchestra thrives under the exceptional direction of its new Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Maestro Charles Dutoit.
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