Eric Klay was Principal Bass Trombone with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 1977 until 2013
Eric Klay was the Principal Bass Trombone with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, from 1977 to 2013. Prior to this he held the same position with Orchestra Victoria from 1976 to 1977.
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 performs all styles of music, having backed Sammy Davis Jnr, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Debbie Reynolds, Bob Hope, Nelson Riddle/Linda Ronstadt, 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 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 2004, the Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB) invited Eric to be the Consultative Editor for their low brass publications. 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 Master Classes, gave a recital and conducted the trombone choir.
In 1993, meeting a need for his students, Eric published Daily Exercises for Bb/F Trombone (now in its fourth printing), a standard text for serious students’ worldwide and included in the syllabus at Northwestern University in Chicago.
In 2008 in conjunction with Michael Mulcahy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he released “Full Circle”, a collection of works for trombone by noted Australian composers. These include world premiere recordings of “Sonata for Three Trombones and Two Percussion” by 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 was the Music Director of the Nicholas Chamber Orchestra, based in the Dandenong Ranges. For twenty years Eric taught at the Harrietville Summer Music Camp. In 2018 he toured Guangzhou, Xi‘an and Urumqi giving Masterclasses and private tutoring.