Stephen Calow – Tuba

Stephen calowStephen Calow is from Leicestershire and is an RCM Scholar supported by a Michael Quinn Award at the Royal College of Music, where he studies Tuba with Owen Slade. He began playing the Tuba age 7 and soon joined the Leicestershire music service, where he had lessons and played in ensembles for over 10 years. Through this, Stephen performed the Edward Gregson Tuba concerto age 16 and was Tuba player for the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Band, with whom he toured to Europe 6 times. He was a member of the Leicestershire Arts Senior Brass Ensemble for 6 years, giving him his first taste of playing in a brass dectet and fostering his passion for chamber music. During this time, Stephen also studied Tuba in Birmingham with Ian Foster and was Principal Tuba of the National Youth Wind Orchestra (2010-2011) and CBSO Youth Orchestra (2010-2012), with whom he performed many concerts in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall under conductors such as John Wilson and Edward Gardner.

From auditioning in 2010, Stephen gained places in 5 Conservatoires across the UK and started at the RCM in autumn 2011. During his first year at College, he played in both the RCM Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras with highlights ranging from playing Prokofiev under world famous conductor Vladimir Jurowski, to the world premiere of Philip Ashworth’s ‘Diurne’ featuring an orchestral tuba solo. Stephen has participated in several master classes at the RCM so far, recently as a soloist in a masterclass with virtuoso Tuba player Sergio Carolino and as part of a lower brass section in a trombone class with Dudley Bright. As a soloist Stephen is in demand around Leicestershire, most recently performing the Vaughan-Williams Tuba concerto with the Rutland Sinfonia in October 2012. Future plans include an engagement to perform the Gregson concerto with the European Youth Music Week in Germany.

In Kensington brass, Stephen can be found at the butt of everyone’s jokes and is often referred to by any word beginning with S, except for Stephen. He enjoys a pint of Cornish ale and a game of pool in the college bar. His favourite moment of playing in KB so far has been the group’s recital in Southwark Cathedral – a gorgeous building with a formidable acoustic for brass!