Onyx Brass

Onyx Brass
Chamber Ensemble

Onyx Brass continues to be the leading light in establishing the brass quintet as a medium for serious chamber music, presenting it in the entertaining and articulate style that has become the group’s trademark.  BBC Music Magazine described the group as 'easily the classiest brass ensemble in Britain', and Gramophone hailed 'some of the most thrilling chamber brass-playing of its kind'. Onyx and its six recordings are also regularly featured on BBC Radio 3. The group has commissioned and performed the world premières of well over 100 new works, with many more in the pipeline.  The quintet tour frequently across the USA and Europe, and is also resident ensemble of Imperial College London. Work with singers also forms a central part of Onyx’s work, often under the auspices of the John Armitage Memorial trust, with whom Onyx Brass has been affiliated since its inception. 

Image Credit: 
Benjamin Ealovega
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Onyx Brass


Celebrating the group's 21st birthday, the acclaimed Onyx Brass presents an exciting commission for brass quintet by composer David Sawer in over twenty informal and free outdoor performances across Britain's historic bandstands, outdoor festivals and public spaces. The project brings contemporary music out of the concert hall and on to the village green.

‘I am thrilled to have been selected for New Music Biennial, and very excited indeed to be asked to write a new work for Onyx Brass, to be performed in bandstands up and down the country; the idea of composing a piece that would draw the public’s attention to these unique, surviving monuments in free, open and public spaces immediately appealed.’ David Sawer

‘We are thrilled to get this chance to work with David and to bring new British music to people all over the UK from all walks of life, on bandstands and village greens around the UK.  Our 20 years work in brass chamber music have been leading up to this scale of project, so what a wonderful way to celebrate our 21st birthday!’  Onyx Brass


For more information about all 20 pieces of the New Music Biennial, visit our page:




Onyx Brass

Bronze and Iron was commissioned by Onyx Brass.


Photo: Benjamin Ealovega


Produced with the support of partners and funders:

New Music Biennial Funders


The performance of Bronze and Iron was recorded live by the BBC at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 2 August 2014 and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 between 4 and 7 August 2014.

Catalogue number:
NMC DL201414
Release Date:
14 August 2014