Eric Klay was Principal Bass Trombone with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 1977 until 2013
Eric Klay is the recently retired Principal Bass Trombone with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, appointed in 1977. Prior to this he held the same position with Orchestra Victoria.
From 1979 to 1991, Eric was a member of the Melbourne Brass Ensemble, which produced four recordings, two of which were all Australian music. They performed many live broadcasts for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and undertook numerous tours for Musica Viva, Australia’s premier chamber music provider.
Eric was invited to give Master Classes and a recital at the 1995 International Trombone Symposium held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In 1996, Eric toured as soloist with the Queensland Symphonic Winds to Singapore and Hong Kong, performing Concerto for Bass Trombone written for him by Paul Sarcich. He then released his CD Wind Song on the Move label, to worldwide critical acclaim.
Eric won the Elton John Award in 2002 and undertook a period of study with Charles Vernon and Michael Mulcahy in Chicago. In 2011, he was invited as a guest artist to the Third International Trombone and Tuba Conference at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
Eric performs all styles of music, having backed Sammy Davis Jnr, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Debbie Reynolds, Bob Hope, Nelson Riddle/Linda Rondstadt, Elton John, Debra Byrne, John Farnham and Meat Loaf on their Australian tours. He has also played on countless jingles, recording sessions and soundtracks for iconic Australian movies such as The Man From Snowy River I and II, Mad Max II, Babe, Babe – Pig in the City, Crocodile Dundee I and II, Lantana and The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith.
Eric teaches at Monash University and also regularly gives Master Classes. Meeting a need for his students, Eric published Daily Exercises for Bb/F Trombone, now a standard text for serious students’ worldwide and included in the syllabus at Northwestern University in Chicago.
In 2004, the Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB) invited Eric to be the Consultative Editor on the following publications:
• Orchestral Brass Series 1 Trombone Grades 1 to 4
• Orchestral Brass Series 1 Euphonium Grades 1 to 4
• Trombone, Tuba and Euphonium Technical Work Book.
In 2011, Eric was invited to the Third International Trombone and Tuba Festival at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China where he taught a number of Master Classes, gave a recital and conducted the trombone choir.
Eric in conjunction with Micheal Mulcahy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is about to release a new CD Full Circle, this is a collection of works for trombone by noted Australian composers. These include world premiere recordings of Sonata for Three Trombones and Two Percussionby Richard Mills, Trombone Quartet by Barry McKimm and At A Loss by Stuart Campbell.
Actively involved in community music through teaching, conducting and arranging, Eric is currently the Music Director of the Nicholas Chamber Orchestra, based in the Dandenong Ranges and the acting Music Director of the Melbourne Tramways Band.