Carnyx Brass

Carnyx Brass was established in 2007, and gave their debut performance in a live performance from Glasgow Green as part of the BBC Proms in the Park, watched by a live audience of over 3,000 and broadcast nationally and internationally. Although the group expands to quintet and larger for specific projects, the core of the group is the trio of Paul Archibald, trumpet, Etienne Cutajar, horn, and John Kenny, trombone. Their mission is both to interpret the distinguished existing repertoire for brass trio, and to expand that repertoire through the commissioning of new works: their debut performance featured Balvennie Castle, commissioned by the BBC from John Kenny for trumpet, horn, and the 2000 year old Celtic war horn called a carnyx, from which the group takes its name. The trio has subsequently performed throughout Scotland, commissioning new works from Peter Longworth, Timothy Cooper, and Etienne Rolin, premiered at the 2010 Malta Festival.


Edwin Avril Petite Suite 1971 USA
Leslie Bassett Trio 1968 USA
Benjamin Britten Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury 1969 UK
Timothy Cooper Environment 2009 UK
John Kenny Balvennie Castle (with carnyx) 2007 UK
Peter Longworth Parade 2009 UK
Robert Marek Trio 1959 USA
Vaclav Nelhybell Trio 1965 Czech.
Francis Poulenc Sonata for Brass Trio 1922 France
Robert Sanders Trio 1961 USA
Jarmo Sermillä Trocortro 1190 Finland
Etienne Rolin Mi Cuit Mi Cuivre 2008 France

In addition to the 20th Century trio repertoire, Carnyx Brass offers their own interpretations of works by Renaissance masters, and each performer offers solo works from their established repertoire.

The performers:

Paul Archibald

Paul’s first appointment was as Co-Principal Trumpet in the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden working with great conductors such as Carlos Kleiber, Sir Colin Davis and Sir Georg Solti. In 1980 he relinquished this position to concentrate on work with his group, the English Brass Ensemble and to perform as a member of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and the London Sinfonietta.

Throughout the 1980’s Paul traveled extensively with these chamber groups, performing at many musical centres throughout the world. His enthusiasm for contemporary music was reflected in the work of the English Brass Ensemble whose focus was performing contemporary brass repertoire. The ensemble commissioned and premiered many new works and worked with leading composers such as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Gunthur Schuller, Witold Lutoslawki and Elliott Carter.

In 1984 Paul was a prize winner at the Toulon Prix de Concours, a major international trumpet competition which laid the foundations of his career as a soloist. He has since performed the solo repertoire with many of Britain’s finest orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, London Mozart Players, Britten Sinfonia and the Orchestra of St John’s.

In 1995 he was appointed Principal Trumpet of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and during this period he had the opportunity to perform many of the great orchestral works. Paul is now actively involved in almost every aspect of musical performance: chamber music with Trio D’Art with John Kenny (trombone) and Helen Reid (piano), English Brass, Carnyx Brass Trio and the Fibonacci Sequence: orchestral music as a member of OSJ, Britten Sinfonia and the London Mozart Players: commercial music, having performed on many film soundtracks with icons of popular culture such as Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Bob Geldoff and duo repertoire, performing in recitals with pianist Helen Reid.

Paul is also based in Trinidad & Tobago working as Principal Trumpet with the National Philharmonic Orchestra and as Professor of Music at the National Academy of Performing Arts, Port of Spain. He is also a member of Chaconia Brass, comprised of principal players with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Trinidad & Tobago.

Paul also edits two series of brass music for Brass Wind Publications: the English Brass Collection consists of new works for brass ensemble and the Paul Archibald Collection consists of new additions to the solo repertoire.

Paul also runs two brass courses throughout the year, at the Dartington International Summer School and the Benslow Music Trust. He is also the Artistic Director of Brass Classics, a recording label featuring the colourful world of the brass repertoire and its performers. His discography includes ‘Joie de Vivre’, ‘Divertissement’ and Peter Maxwell Davies’ ‘Trumpet Sonata’ recorded for the composers own label, Max Opus. As a conductor Paul’s discography includes ‘Proclamation’, with the International Celebrity Trumpet Ensemble and ‘Hodie Gloriosa’ with the London Mozart Players Brass Ensemble

Etienne Cutajar

Born in 1983, Etienne Cutajar is a native of Malta and started playing the horn at the age of ten under the tuition of Paul Borg. Etienne was appointed 3rd Horn of then the National Orchestra of Malta at the age of 18; he resigned the post after two years and went on to pursue a two-year postgraduate course at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Richard Watkins and Michael Thompson on a full scholarship from the ABRSM.

For two consecutive years Etienne was first horn of the European Union Youth Orchestra with Bernard Haitink conducting. He has appeared as guest principal horn with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Philharmonia Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and London Brass. Since 2006, Etienne has been 3rd horn of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

As a soloist Etienne has appeared at major venues in the UK including the Purcell Room and Wigmore Hall, on Malta, and at many other venues in Europe and the US. During the Edinburgh International Festival of 2006 Etienne took a solo part in Schumann’s Konzertstueck for 4 horns - accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, later that year recorded Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 with Trevor Pinnock and his European Brandenburg Ensemble. In 2007 Etienne released a Solo Album ‘Fantasie’ on the UK label ‘Divine art’ featuring the ‘Fantasie Sonata for Horn and Piano’ dedicated to him by his compatriot Charles Camilleri, Malta’s greatest living composer. Etienne is a founder member of ‘Carnyx Brass’.

John Kenny

John Kenny was born in 1957 in Birmingham. Internationally recognised for his interpretation of contemporary music, he has performed and broadcast as a recitalist and concerto soloist in over 50 nations. John also performs jazz and early music, frequently directing his own ensembles in the UK and abroad. As a composer, he is particularly active in collaborations with dance and theatre, and this love of theatre is often an important feature of his ra for Horn and Piano’ dedicated to him by his compatriot Charles Camilleri, Malta’s greatest living composer. Etienne is a founder member of ‘Carnyx Brass’. John Kenny was born in 1957 in Birmingham. Internationally recognised for his interpretation of contemporary music, he has performed and broadcast as a recitalist anican Drama Group Europe, The New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas (USA) and the Festival d’ Angers, France, Vokal Nord (Norway), CCMIX Institut (France).

In 1993 John Kenny was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, and is currently a professor at both the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he specialises in the interpretation of contemporary music and The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he concentrates on sackbut and the interpretation of early music. He began his long collaboration with TNT Theatre and playwright Paul Stebbings in 1983, performing, composing and directing the music for productions which toured worldwide, including Cabaret Faust, Tempest Now, The Wizard of Jazz, Mobey Dick, Moon Palace, The Taming of The Shrew, and Romeo & Juliet.

In 1992 John Kenny was invited to join a team of specialists at the National Museum of Scotland comm performing, composing and directing the music for productions which toured worldwide, including Cable so far discovered of an Iron Age Celtic war horn which was the most splendid and powerful wind instrument of the ancient world. In 1993 he became the first person to play the carnyx for 2000 years, and has since lectured and performed on the instrument internationally, in the concert hall, and on radio, television, and film. There are now numerous compositions for the carnyx, and it features on seven CD’s, and in March 2003 he performed solo to an audience of 65,000 in the Stade De France, Paris.