Richard Knights, principal trumpet

What do you do for a living?
I am a team leader in the Legal and Debt Recovery Department of a finance company, based in Surrey.
Tell us a little about the instrument you play? Do you play any other instrument?
My main trumpet is a Vincent Bach Stradivarius Bb which I bought nearly 15 years ago. This has since been modified by Will Spencer. Will replaced several parts, including the bell and leadpipe, and silver plated the entire instrument. I also have a Yamaha Professional C and Eb/D trumpets and have played piccolo trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn in the past. I used to play the piano, but gave this up whilst at university to focus on the trumpet.
When did you start your musical education?
I started learning the piano at the age of 8 and trumpet at the age of 10. I studied music at GCSE and A Level and gained a Bachelor's Honours degree from Kingston University, with a commendation for performance.
How long have you been with the CCO?
Since early 2005.
What has been your favourite CCO concert?
I've had many favourite concerts! It's usually the one we've just played, but a couple stand out more than most. March 2008 saw us play Brahms's 3rd Symphony and Sibelius's Finlandia, both of which were fantastic performances.  I will always remember playing April 2008's concert too – one of the few times I've been asked to play louder for a solo passage in Richard Strauss's Four Scenes from his opera, Intermezzo.
Which piece of music do you most enjoy playing?
At the moment, it is probably Belshazzar's Feast by William Walton, but it tends to change in line with what I have just played!
If you could take a recording of one piece of music to a desert island, what would it be?
Can I get away with Wagner's Ring Cycle as one piece? If not, Boulez conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra playing Mahler's 2nd Symphony (Resurrection). Absolutely astonishing, yet heart rending at the same time.
Who are your musical heroes?
Philip Jones – his idea to set up a brass ensemble inspired much of the modern brass repertory and opened composers and listeners to a brass group other than a brass band!
Trumpet wise, there is a huge list, but right at the top are Maurice Murphy (ex-principal LSO) and Adolph Herseth (principal of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for over 50 years!) Wayne Bergeron is an incredible lead trumpeter  - he features on the soundtrack to Disney’s film The Incredibles and played with Maynard Ferguson's Big Band.
 My other musical heroes include Alan Hazeldine, Michael Lock (one of my first trumpet teachers), Peter Stark and Colin Clague to name but a few.  To be honest, though, the list is endless!
When was the last time you attended a concert as one of the audience?
German Brass, playing a concert at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. It was a masterclass of musicianship and brass playing as well as being a very entertaining evening.
What do you listen to in the car?
This is a bit tough as I don’t drive, but I would generally listen to some jazz – I love Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band – a very 'tight' band, playing great new music, with Mr Bergeron as lead trumpet!
What are your other interests?
Sports, especially rugby union – I have been a keen fan of Bedford Blues Rugby Club for over 15 years. I also love reading, especially Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels – wild and wacky fantasy novels that reflect on this world too.