Photo: German Brass

Enrique Crespo was a trombonist, arranger and founding member of the German Brass Ensemble. He studied music and architecture in Montevideo and Buenos Aires. He was solo trombonist in the local symphony orchestra, as well as jazz soloist, arranger and bandleader for TV productions. A scholarship took the spirited thoroughbred musician to the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin in 1967. There he studied trombone and composition, graduating in 1969 with a music diploma. In the same year, he became principal trombonist with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and moved to the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1980 in the same position.

During this time, Enrique Crespo was mainly occupied with his own compositions, which he presented in person. He worked intensively with Bayerischer Rundfunk and built up a private recording and film studio, from which numerous record, film and television productions emerged.

For one of his productions and a subsequent tour of France, Enrique Crespo founded the German Brass Quintet in 1974 with some former fellow students from Berlin, all of whom are now soloists in leading orchestras in Germany. In order to be able to arrange Bach’s music without compromise for the EMI Classics production “BACH 300”, he doubled the size of the quintet in 1985 and gave it the new name German Brass. It became the most popular and successful professional brass ensemble in Germany. The group has produced more than 20 CD recordings and tours regularly all over the world.

From the beginning, he devoted himself to jazz and folk with the same passion and enthusiasm as to so-called serious music. Enrique Crespo’s compositions are characterised by this mixture of very different styles, and with his extensive knowledge of instruments he offers the brass players completely new scope. Their instruments, which have usually been treated somewhat stepmotherly by “classical” composers, are given the opportunity to advance into completely different dimensions of playing. Crespo also arranged a number of pieces for German Brass in various styles (including baroque, classical, jazz, folk and popular music from Latin and South America). Enrique Crespo passed away shortly before Christmas 2020. (Source: Bach Cantatas website)