Obituary: Nigel Gomm (1959–2011)

Second Trumpet (1988–2011)

The LSO is deeply saddened by the recent death of LSO Trumpeter, Nigel Gomm, on Sunday 30 October 2011 at the age of 52 after a short illness.

Nigel began playing the trumpet at the age of eight, achieving Grade 8 by the age of 11. Whilst at school he travelled weekly to the Royal Academy of Music to have lessons with Sidney Ellison. He went on to study there full-time from 1978–1982, still with Sidney, but also with Bill Houghton. On leaving the RAM Nigel went straight into a career of West End shows and recording sessions, where he gained a significant reputation for his Piccolo Trumpet playing.

In 1984 he became a member of the world renowned Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, and then in 1988 the opportunity arose for Nigel to join the LSO and play alongside his hero, the great Maurice Murphy. Nigel and Maurice became firm friends as well as close colleagues, an association of which he was immensely proud. Whilst in the LSO Nigel was also able to continue his freelance career, most notably as Principal Trumpet of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, and also the Michael Nyman Band.

Nigel was an active composer and producer, and in 2008 established his own highly successful recording studio, The Outback. It was here that he produced many of the 'music-minus-one' recordings which accompany many teaching books. Younger musicians may know him as 'the Angry Farmer' from his children's album Jemma's Journey and Abi's Adventure which he co-wrote with LSO Animateur Vanessa King. A self-proclaimed amateur pianist, Nigel spent hours at the piano composing and improvising.

He was a great host, with a love of good food and wine. He was an outstanding cook, and the undisputed king of the barbecue. He was extremely quick witted, and had a keen sense of humour, with an uncanny knack of summing up a situation in a few sharp words, usually with a humorous aside to take away the sting. Besides music, Nigel had a great passion for cars, motorcycles and golf.

Nigel's short illness was tackled with inspirational determination to win through. Sadly this was not to be. All in the LSO miss him greatly, but none more so than his widow, LSO violinist Belinda McFarlane, and his beloved children, Jamie and Charlotte.

The concert on Tuesday 24 January 2012 was dedicated to his memory.

Hilary Jones, cello