Richard Blake

Principal Second Trumpet

Belfast-born and bred, Richard joined the CBSO as 2nd Trumpet at the tender age of 25. He almost instantly gained several kilos of weight which have been stubbornly following him around ever since. 

He had his first piano lesson from his mum at the age of five but didn't pick up the trumpet until the late arrival of his adult teeth, aged 10.  His early musical training was as a treble at St George’s Parish Church, Belfast, and he is still in mourning over his voice breaking. 

Following 7 music-filled years at Methodist College Belfast, Richard went to study music at the University of York. After exploring everything from Jazz Composition to Electronica to Mahler, he gave in to the obsession with the Trumpet and delved into a postgraduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music. A wide variety of incredible teachers including Dr Rod Franks, Paul Beniston, John Hutchins, Mike Lovatt, Bob Farley and Mark David knocked him into shape and he honed his orchestral playing with a year in Southbank Sinfonia. Richard continues to study with Reinhold Friedrich and Kristian Steenstrup. 

Richard is active as a Principal Trumpet around the country, and has worked with the BBC Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, RPO, LPO, Mahler Chamber, and Ulster orchestras as well as a regular role with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Richard has also toured Europe and Asia with the LSO and appears on a number of recordings. He has performed in chamber music settings with the LSO Brass, CBSO Brass Quintet, and Onyx Brass.

Richard is also active as an arranger and composer, and has written for the CBSO, Ulster Orchestra, Det Norske Blåseensemble, and European Brass Ensemble.

He is a visiting tutor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and likes to fill any remaining spare time with cooking, exploring Brum’s local pubs, and the occasional run.