The LA TROMBA Trumpet, Cornet and Flugelhorn series were introduced in the first week of November 1999 in Hamburg, Germany at the annual "Brass Gipfel" (Brass Summit) and one week later in the Bad Säckingen "Trumpet Festival" / Euro-ITG conference.
The instruments were played by the Trumpet section of the Prince-Bishop of Wuerzburg`s Wind-Ensemble ("Trompeten Ensemble des Fürstbischöfliche Bläserconsortium zu Würzburg") with Richard Carson Steuart as both its Director and Solotrumpeter.
The ensemble performed amoug others works three original compositions written for them by the contemporary German composer Helmut M. Timpelan. These pieces were o performed on both the LA TROMBA Bb-A-G-Piccolo and on a varieity of LA TROMBA Symphonic Eb and Bb-Flat Rotary- and Piston- Valve Trumpet models.
Parallel to the development of his own LA TROMBA trumpets, Richard Carson Steuart has worked closely in a co-operative design and development capacity and internationally as "Artistic Representative" from 1996 through to 1999 with Kanstul Musical Instruments of Anaheim, California U.S.A..
He was given the responsibility by Zigmant Kanstul personally, to design a "combination" instrument: namely the Bb-A-G piccolo trumpet, that was first introduced in 1997 at the "Mid-West Band Conference" in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.. In March 1998 at the "Frankfurt Messe"(the Frankfurt Music-Fair) Mr. Steuart also presented the new line of Zigmant Kanstul Rotary-valve Bb-flat and C trumpets, that had been developed specifically for Symphonic orchestral use.
Since the Fall of 1998 Mr. Steuart has created his own La Tromba "Heavy" version of the Bb-A-G piccolo trumpet and in the Spring of 1999 presented it as well the completely revolutionary D-Eb-E-F-"Super-Soloist" trumpet at the I.T.G. conference in Richmond,Virginia, U.S.A.
Starting in 2000 Mr. Steuart has aswell developed his own line of rotary valve Bb and C trumpets. These truly handmade trumpets boast an all gold-brass construction with an independent trigger-tuning system for the first and third-valve slides and promise excellent intonation and a dark, authentic German tone character. They have the internationally accaimed Bernhard Zirnbaur Rotary -valves ... made in Germany.
The corresponding LA TROMBA Rotary-valve Mouthpieces were conceptualized parallel to the development of these trumpets will be more closely described later in this exposé.
The LA TROMBA MARK I to MARK VII series of piston valve B flat and C trumpets are the result of Richard Carson Steuart`s earnest desire to combine the characteristics of a full –"symphonic sound" in all registers with an extremely free "blowing", "flexible" trumpet, possessing excellent intonation and a very light response.
To this end we have experimented with, among other time tested innovations, the use of pure-copper, instead of the commonly used brass, for the more important "acoustical- resonating" components of the trumpet.
Experiments with the use of resonating plates in both the bell-bow and tuning-slide-bow of LA TROMBA Trumpets have proven that an added stability of the tone-"center" as well an ability to project the sound with less physical effort is the result as well as an improvement in the general tone fullness and the players endurance. The use of copper for the bell, lead pipe and tuning slide on some models has as well proven to be very important in helping to meet these objectives.
In the development of the new LA TROMBA trumpet line it has been repeatedly confirmed that apart from its high visual attractivity and excellent resonating properties copper ensures superior durability especially in the leadpipe and thus making it a viable alternative material to Brass and gold-brass especially when knowledgeably combined with other yellow-brass trumpet components.
The LA TROMBA "Super-Soloist" trumpet model was created to serve the needs of "soloists" who wish to, with just one trumpet but in four keys, perform the works of Bach, Händel, Telemann, Haydn, Hummel, Torrelli and many, many , more Baroque and Classical compositions for the trumpet in their "original" keys. Without difficult transpositions or even more importantly the loss of "resonating lower overtones" so paramount to the character of the tone, the soloist is free to relax into a full, warm overtone-rich trumpet sound and concentrate on the musical expression in a dialogue with the chosen accompanying body.
This D-Eb-E-F trumpet has "lead-pipe" tuning, with four corresponding lead pipes, four screw -changeable bells and of course a complete sets of valves-slides for each key. This guarantees perfect intonation as well as preserving the necessary balance between the conicality and cylindricality of the trumpet. The building of true a "multi-keyed" instrument is, with patients and knowledge, very practical and very possible as Mr. Steuart has previously proven by his creative design of the Bb-A-G piccolo trumpet.
After an hour of intensive trial and playing-scrutiny in an separate and quiet "testing room" at the 2000 ETG conference in Bad Säckingen, Prof. Max Sommerhalder of the Detmolder Hochschule für Musik gave his personal congratulations to Mr. Steuart for his achievement in the creation of the LA TROMBA "Super-Soloist" D-Eb-E-F trumpet.
After decades of carefull, acoustical and structural study as well as personal professional application, Richard Carson Steuart has condensed his experience and that of numbers of his colleagues to develop the LA TROMBA trumpet line. Having personally performed with the best professional instruments made by the "top" American manufactories (primarely the instruments of Renold Schilke, Vincent Bach, C. G. Conn, F.E. Olds and Eldon Benge) in a variety of most all possible musical ensembles from Big Band, Recording-Studio and Jazz Combo over Brass Quintet and large Brass Ensemble to Symphonic Concert Band, Grand Opera and most critically Symphony Orchestra over the last 35 years of his musical career Mr. Steuart was destined to build trumpets that would meet the needs of top professional players from BOTH the Symphonic and Jazz idioms.
Who is playing La Tromba Trumpets in Europe?
Marc Ullrich, one of Europe’s most versatile "all-round players" performed as a soloist at the I.T.G.- conference 1999. He is the Principal-trumpet of the Basel, Switzerland Symphony Orchestra and is famous as a virtuoso in a wide range of musical directions from authentic Baroque Trumpet performance, the "modern French solo-trumpet repertoire" to Mainstream- and Be-Bop Jazz.
Mr. Ullrich visited the LA TROMBA display-stand at the I.T.G. conference, and decided to take three different La Tromba trumpets and matching LA TROMBA mouthpieces to test "on the job". After two months of testing, he reported a great deal of very positive comments from both his Symphonic and Jazz colleagues (as well as his concert public) and he decided to buy a LA TROMBA trumpet.
The model Mr. Ullrich chose is the MARK IV, which has a copper bell, leadpipe and two tuning-slide bows ,one angular with a resonance plate and one round without a brace or resonating plate and as well a heavy LA TROMBA mouthpiece and mouthpiece-receiver. Mr. Ullrich`s comment with regards to the LA TROMBA trumpet and LA TROMBA mouthpiece combination is, quote, "GENIAL!"
After hearing the Trumpet Ensemble in three separate "Concert Events" during the I.T.G. conference, Dr. Edward H.Tarr, the host of the Euro-ITG-1999, Professor of Trumpet at the Basel Music Academy, and Director of the Bad Säckingen Trumpet Museum, promptly invited the Ensemble back to play an even greater role in the "festivities" at the next ITG conference in November 2000!
Dr. Tarr, himself a pioneer in the revival of the "Art of Baroque Trumpet Playing" as well as performance on a number of other historical instruments of the 17th, 18th and 19th century, complimented the ensemble especially with regards to the groups homogenous tone-quality and intonation, which he sited as the two most important aspects in ensemble performance and of course correspondingly trumpet design and manufacturing. Dr. Tarr went so far as to rate the ensemble as "among the very best of the trumpet ensembles that had taken part in the November 1999 conference".
This was just only the beginning of the La Tromba Trumpet...