Someone's got a tromboner for the trumpeter: "Viso angelico, folta chioma di un biondo che abbaglia, corpo da Venere stretto in setosi abiti bianchi." Or, "Angelic face, luxurious blond hair that dazzles, a body of Venus wrapped tightly in silky white dresses". Someone get this dude a cold shower. And don't talk to him about flutter tonguing something something triple tonguing lip trill.
An ode to Alison Balsom in yesterday's La Repubblica (print only -- not online), the 32-year-old English classical trumpet virtuosa "bella come una diva". Breaking down the door of the boy's club, Balsom has hijacked the guest list with a smile and some brass.
The Classical Brits 2009 Female Artist of the Year recipient has brought the spotlight to an instrument that's reserved for both guys and non-soloists. What does she say of her friend? "It's powerful, brilliant, heroic, the most elegant, and unpredictably flexible. It's not just the ring, but also the warmth and softness. It's rich with multifaceted sounds and characters. And it has characteristics of the old world in the meaning that it can transport you back in time. But it's also able to show-off a modern appeal."
But, the journalists asks, isn't it an instrument that's usually associated with guys? Doesn't it need a lung-filling capacity that women just don't have?
Alison says, "That's just an old misjudgement from the military origins of the instrument. I was seven years old when I chose this instrument. I was attracted to it from the beginning. Luckily my parents supported my decision. [...] I've never had a physical problem in playing it."
And what's her opinion when people talk about her looks?
"At the beginning it was useful to make it known since we all know how important the physical aspect is for the performer. I admit that I love fashion. Recently Giorgio Armani invited me to attend his show in Milan and I had such a great time. But I'm convinced that it was really my talent that made people take notice of me. Beauty is only an extra gift."