New Appointments

James Fountain: John Solomon Professor of Trumpet

James Fountain is Principal Trumpet in the London Symphony Orchestra and one of the most exciting musicians of his generation. Although still in his twenties, James has occupied the Principal Trumpet position in the RPO, LPO and LSO as well as being in huge demand as a soloist, studio musician and teacher.

This chair is named after John Solomon, one of England’s finest early 20th-century trumpeters and a professor at the Academy from 1894 to 1938.

Kira Doherty: Giovanni Puzzi Professor of Horn

Kira Doherty is the 2nd horn player and President of the Council of Management of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Kira has a diverse range of skills and experience, performing in and managing a world-class ensemble as well as engaging in community projects, academic studies and coaching at secondary and tertiary institutions. Kira’s broad role will ensure that Academy graduates are at the forefront of musical and professional development in an ever-changing landscape.

Giovanni Puzzi was the most celebrated horn player in Britain during the 19th century and the first professor of horn at the Royal Academy of Music. He was also a prolific agent, impresario and arranger.

Current staff

Paul Beniston: Thomas Harper Professor of Trumpet

Paul Beniston is a long-standing professor of trumpet at the Academy as well as being one of the UK’s longest serving Principal Trumpet players, having held the post in the London Philharmonic Orchestra for nearly 30 years. Paul has also been a committed and hugely influential teacher over the same period, teaching many of the country’s leading players (including James Fountain). A direct line can be traced back through Paul’s teachers and their teachers, making Thomas Harper Paul’s great-great grandfather.

This chair is named after Thomas Harper and his son Thomas Harper Jnr, who popularised the English slide trumpet and were the most famous trumpeters of their time.

David Pyatt: Adolph Borsdorf Professor of Horn

David Pyatt’s career began at the age of 14 when he won the BBC Young Musician Competition, which led to a busy solo career. In 1998, he accepted the Principal Horn Chair in the LSO, where he stayed for 15 years. He subsequently held the same position in the London Philharmonic before moving to the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. David is a hugely influential pedagogue and mentor to generations of leading horn players.

Saxony-born Adolph Borsdorf came to England in 1869 and was a founder member of the LSO. He was professor of horn at the Royal Academy of Music and one of the most influential teachers of the period, revolutionising the style of British horn playing.

Martin Owen: Alfred Brain Professor of Horn

Martin Owen is Principal Horn of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, having previously held the same position in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He also performed for one season as Principal with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Martin is one of the UK’s busiest studio musicians and an active chamber musician in the USA and beyond. An Academy alumnus and Fellow, Martin has been a professor here since 2008.

Alfred Edwin Brain Jr studied with Adolf Borsdorf at the Royal Academy of Music. He became the most sought-after horn player in London before emigrating to the USA where, in 1923, he became Principal Horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He began to play at MGM in 1927 and can be heard on the soundtracks of many films, including Ben Hur and King Kong.