Eric Crees was born in London in 1952 and studied at Wandsworth School, where, in the famous boys’ choir, he worked with many distinguished professional orchestras and conductors. Of particular importance was the school’s long association with Benjamin Britten, who wrote a solo part for him in the Children’s Crusade.
While still at school he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and as a student undertook an extensive period of work with the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. Having won the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society’s ‘Joyce Dixey Award’ for composition, he graduated from the University of Surrey with first class honours and joined the London Symphony Orchestra, where he spent twenty-seven years, twenty as Co-Principal Trombone. In September 2000 he was appointed Section Principal Trombone at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In addition to the concert and recording work, he has performed on many of the most iconic film soundtracks, including the first four of the Star Wars series, Superman 1 & 2, Raiders of The Lost Ark and many others.
As director of London Symphony Orchestra Brass for many years he regularly conducted them at the Barbican Centre and internationally. He has made five CDs with the ensemble: two originally for Collins Classics, American Brass and Cathedral Brass, featuring many of his arrangements, which are also available on LSO Live and three of a world première recording by Naxos Records of the complete forty-three instrumental ensemble sonatas and canzonas of Giovanni Gabrieli, for which he made a new performing edition, available from Brass Wind Publications.
Since joining Covent Garden, he has directed the Royal Opera House Brass Soloists in concert at the Floral Hall to great critical success and made two recordings for Brass Classics, On The Town and The Twelve days of Christmas, which includes many of his carol arrangements sung by the Chorus of the Royal Opera House.
In this week's show we feature one of his many arrangements for brass. On this track he conducts the Desford Colliery Band