Alain Pire

Solo Trombonist, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Liege

Alain Pire was born on September 9, 1960, in Liege (Kingdom of Belgium, Europe). He studied the trombone at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Liege with Guillaume Ackermans. Following with Wim Becu (sakbut) and Benny Sluchin (for contemporary repertoire).

Since 1980, he is trombone player at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Liege and is since 2001 their first solo trombone. He plays in the Ictus Ensemble (well-known Belgian contemporary music ensemble) since it was set up in 1994. He also played trombone with the Ensemble Musique Nouvelle until 1997.

Alain Pire has always sought to enrich and diversify his playing and instrumental research by setting up different chamber music formations, including the Liege Trombone Quartet (1983-1996), the Brass Label Brass Quintet (1996-2000), and ‘L’autre trio’ (with violinist Izumi Okubo and pianist Marcel Cominotto).

If orchestra and solo playing has been a real passion, Alain Pire is also highly involved in trombone education and teaching. He first gave his lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Mons (Belgium) from 1988 to 2001 then at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Liege as main trombone/bass tuba teacher. Until now, almost all his students have started a career in trombone teaching or as musician in a professional orchestra (or both!).

A few years ago, his trombone/tuba class became the actual ‘Low Brass’ Department of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Liege, of which he is still in charge. He also runs many summer schools and master classes. His taste for exploring new channels and his enthusiasm for involvement in the living culture of his country has been at the origin of a number of pieces, including Miroirs de la transparence for violin, trombone, and piano by Claude Ledoux; “Sursauts” for violin, trombone and piano by Henri Pousseur; “Plaisir” for violin and trombone by Michel Fourgon; “Refrains” for violin and trombone by Pierre Bartholomée; and many others.

He worked in close collaboration with the Walloon (Belgian south region) Musical Training and Research Centre on performances of mixed musical works from the repertoire (including Cage, Francesconi, Alvarez) and by young talented composers such as Anne Martin, Paula Defresne, Catherine Seba, and Delphine Derochette.

As a soloist, Alain Pire has performed most notably with Ictus in pieces by Luca Francesconi, Georges Aperghis, Tom Jonson, Toshio Hosokawa, and Jean-Luc Fafchamps at the Ars Musica Festival (Royal Conservatory of Music of Mons in 1998), Images sonores (Liege, 2003) and the Trois Visages festival of electroacoustic music (Brussels, 2004), as part of Lille, European Capital of Culture 2004 (residency of the Ictus Ensemble) and at De Singel, Antwerp and the Ars Musica festival, the Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra by Pascal Dusapin (2008), Ars Musica again in 2008 in Brussels Bozar, Pascal Dusapin’s trombone Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Liege conducted by Pascal Rophé, and so many others!

Lately, Alain Pire started again the Brass Label quintet where he plays with four of his closest colleagues. Alain Pire is one of the most popular trombonists in Belgium.