CD - Lyrical Virtuoso - Steven Mead and Brassband Buizingen (cond. Luc Vertommen)

£12.00 - £6.00
Reference:  CDBOCC125
Stock:  In stock In stock


Here is the album Lyrical Virtuoso, BOCC125, recorded by Steve and accompanied by Brassband Buizingen, conductor Luc Vertommen

You Tube demo


adjective - (of literature, art, or music) expressing the writer's emotions in an imaginative and beautiful way.


noun - a person highly skilled in music or another artistic pursuit.

 Steven Mead reunites with Brassband Buizingen and conductor Luc Vertommen, eleven years after they made their highly successful ‘Euphonium Virtuoso’ album.

 Our soloist, well known for his lyrical artistry and outstanding virtuoso technique has chosen a programme  which perfectly shows off the combination of these fine attributes,  accompanied by a brass band at the top of their game, with a brilliant conductor who also arranged many of these works

As most euphonium enthusiasts know, Steve has recorded many CDs since his first official release, Rondo in 1991. If you include all his albums; solo albums, the education orientated CDs, those with the British Tuba Quartet, and guest appearances, the number is now in the mid-seventies!  For him, recording is a passion, and a mark of his true dedication to the euphonium.  Over the years he has recorded with various ensembles; brass and wind bands, chamber orchestra, wind quintet, trombone quintet, brass quintet, ten-piece brass ensemble, organ, piano, multitracked Mead and electronics. With each genre he has impressed with his musicality, unique rich sonority and virtuosity. For him this instrument has almost no limits.

In 1995 Steve recorded an album, Euphonium Virtuoso, with the outstanding Belgian ensemble Brassband Buizingen.  This album won several international awards that year. He also really enjoys the collaboration and friendship with their conductor Luc Vertommen who is a visionary arranger as well as fine conductor.  So it was decided to get back in the recording studio, eleven years on, and make a second album together. Reflecting on the literature to be recorded, the title Lyrical Virtuoso seems to be such an apt title.  It includes works from the present day, as well as the marvellous Euphonium Concerto No.1 by John Golland, and then looks back even further to virtuoso works from the nineteenth century, and especially recognises the influence and works of the legendary violinist composer Niccolò Paganini.  Six of the ten works are receiving their premiere recording with brass band, and all will be available shortly for performance by those brave enough (especially the highly virtuosic works) to take them on. At the heart of Steve’s musicianship is his singing tone, a feature of his entire career, and here his lyrical approach can be appreciated to the full in some simply breathtakingly-beautiful melodies. We hope you enjoy Lyrical Virtuoso.




Steven Mead – Euphonium

Brass Band Buizingen

conductor Luc Vertommen

  1. La Corrida de Toros - David Bandman/Luc Vertommen*  5.20
  2. Sérenade Napolitaine - Ruggero Leoncavallo/Vertommen*  2.14
  3. Euphonium Concerto No.1 - John Golland  17.16
  4. The Auld Noost - Ronald Jamieson/Anthony Swainson*  4.43
  5. Capriccio di Niccolò - Frank Proto/Luc Vertommen*  16.10
  6. Michelangelo - Sigvart Dagsland/Frode Rydland  5.09
  7. Mayfly Blues - Stan Nieuwenhuis  7.42
  8. In Gardens of Peace - Philip Harper   5.27
  9. Rondo-La Campanella (from Violin Concerto No. 2) – Niccolò Paganini/Luc Vertommen*   6.27
  10. Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (I Am Lost To The World) - Gustav Mahler/Luc Vertommen*  6.26

Total time 79.37  *Premiere recording with brass band

Recorded in Stroming Hall, Berlare, Belgium, July 1-3, 2016

Producer/Sound Engineer: Richard Scott (with kind permission from World of Brass)

Production Assistant: Phil Hardman

Produced in the UK by Bocchino Music

Catalogue: BOCC125

A Review by Iwan Fox,

Eleven years after he last linked up with conductor Luc Vertommen and Brass Band Buizingen, Steven Mead returned to the recording studio in 2016 for this thoughtful release.
Lyricism in brass playing is in danger of becoming an eroded art: The pursuit of ever more audacious technical brilliance has made it an increasingly difficult musical language to understand as well as master.


However, both elements can still be combined, and here the soloist states his case for appreciation with a cultured sense of authority. Mead is one of the last true polyglots.

The ten tracks are a series of mature performances of eclectic inspiration - from the bullish Iberian swagger of Bandman’s ‘La Corrida de Toros’ to the poetic resignation of Mahler’s ‘Ich bin der welt abhanden gekommen’.  In between we touch on elements of reflection as well as celebration, lasting delicacy to bluesy ephemera.

Expertly realised

The virtuosity on display is skilled and artistic; the lyricism imaginative and beautiful (essential characteristics he himself identifies in his perceptive sleeve notes). The performances are enhanced by equally considered accompaniment (including the use of a harp) and subtly coloured arrangements, expertly realised by Luc Vertommen.

Same coin

The centre-pieces are balanced counterpoints: Golland’s darkly hued ‘Concerto’ is a work of personal complexities hidden in plain view; layers of seeming transparency that still obscure a central core of troubled emotions.  In contrast, Proto’s fantasy on the famous ‘24th Caprice’ by Paganini lays all bare - sumptuous, rich, extrovert.  

They are still two sides of the same musical coin though. And it is a currency that Steven Mead shows throughout is still worth its weight in gold. 

Iwan Fox

Listening Post number 141, April 2017, Tim Mutum.

Eleven years after his first disc with Brass Band Buizingen, Steven teamed up again with the Belgian band and the result is an amazing program that really enables the soloist to demonstrate his talents. From the 10 solos, six premiered on this disc, four left me completely spellbound. The Rondo from Paganini's Violin Concerto No.2 is clearly a fiendishly difficult piece to master, but Steven's articulation is so precise that none of the immense detail is lost. A demonstration of the virtuoso half of the title. On the lyrical side, The Auld Noost is a gorgeous slow melody and its eloquence and charm really tugs at you. In Gardens of Peace is more sombre as Philip Harper's solo creates the aura and peacefulness of the Commonwealth War Graves Cemeteries on the Somme and the playing is beautiful. Luc Vertommen contributed most of the arrangements for the CD but he left the best to last with his arrangement of Mahler's highly emotional I Am Lost to the World, which uses harp, percussion and muted brass to create more distinctive colours. A blissful ending to an immensely musically satisfying CD of which Steven Mead is rightly proud


Steven Mead

Whether he’s playing his beloved euphonium on tour, or teaching at the RNCM, giving a masterclass to a band, designing and testing instruments and mouthpieces for Besson and Denis Wick, or even simply practicing, Steven Mead always does it with passion and the utmost dedication. It’s been like this for many many years. 

 Since his early days in Bournemouth, he’s been passionate about performing music, initially as a young boy soprano, and into his teenage years as a euphonium soloist.  He has become a worldwide ambassador for the instrument, travelling the world constantly, introducing audiences to this instrument year after year, constantly inspiring the next generation of young brass musicians to greatness. Full details of Steve’s career and history can be found on his popular website Follow him on media sites Facebook and Twitter (meadeuph). His online webstore caters for the specialist needs of many enthusiasts too.


Brassband Buizingen


The band was founded in 1879 as a fanfare band by workers of the local porcelain factory.  In 1975 it was amongst the first Belgian bands to convert to the traditional British-style brass band instrumentation.  Since then, the band has played a leading role in the Belgian band world, gaining prizes at competitions and recognition for its musical approach both at home and abroad.  Over the years it has given notable concerts and contest performances, released numerous CDs and, in 1997, had the particular honour conferred on it of being named ‘Cultural Ambassador of Flanders’. 

More recently, BBU won the Belgian National Championships three times, in 2009, 2012 and 2015 and represented Belgium at the European Championships in Stavanger, Linz, Oslo and Lille.  In 2011 BBU was runner-up at the World Music Contest in Kerkrade and in 2012 the band was runner-up at the All England Masters.  Brassband Buizingen won the Flemish Open Brass Band Championships VOBK) three times.  The band was honoured by SABAM (the Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers) with the prestigious Fugue-Trophy for their contribution to Flemish band music and received the title of Cultural Ambassador of their hometown, Halle which is based in the South of Brussels.


Brassband Buizingen had the honour to play in concert with Steven Mead several times and record the highly acclaimed Euphonium Virtuoso CD in 2005 with Steven Mead and team up with him again 11 years later for his latest solo album.  You can find more information on their website


Conductor Luc Vertommen

 Dr. Luc Vertommen was born in Leest (Mechelen) where he made his first acquaintance with wind music through the local fanfare band.  He studied cornet, music theory and piano at the music academies in Mechelen and Willebroek.  Further musical studies were completed with a triple diploma in trumpet, music history and band conducting at the Lemmensinstitute in Louvain.  He also obtained a first prize in chamber music at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, a master degree for conducting and Doctor of Musical Arts (2011) at Salford University, Manchester, (UK).  He has immersed himself full-time in the world of band music as a brass teacher, player, conductor, arranger and writer. 

He conducts Brass Band Buizingen (Belgium), Brass Band Nord-pas de Calais (France) and is head of music school in Deurne (Antwerp).

He can be heard on more than 25 highly acclaimed CD recordings and is editor and artistic director of Band Press VOF.  He regularly is invited to conduct or adjudicate around Europe and obtained the International Buma Brass Award 2014 for his international work within the band movement.

His interest for the past and for band history started a series of books and CD recordings.  For this Anthology of Flemish Band Music, he received the Fugue-Trophy by Sabam (the Belgian authors right association) in 2011.  He unearthed many pages and hours of original music by Belgian composers and his interest for the future is shown in his collaboration with many contemporary composers.

As an arranger some of his arrangements (especially those made for fanfare band and brass band) are played worldwide.


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