Callum Armstrong and Matthias Branschke are two of Europe’s most innovative and accomplished bagpipers. We are delighted to have them at to Halsway to lead an intensive bagpipe ensemble course – but they are also squeezing in this duo gig!
Callum Armstrong is an innovative piper whose questing approach to the hitherto unexplored acoustic possibilities of the smallpipe is taking the instrument into new musical areas.
Some of Callum’s recent projects have been to develop a polyphonic technique for double smallpipes, collaborating with pipe maker Julian Goodacre to develop a chanter with 3 octaves worth of range and developing reeds and music for the ancient greek ‘Louvre’ aulos.
Callum graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2014, where he won the ‘Beryl Maggs’ Prize for recorder playing 3 years in a row as well as winning the Silver Medal in 2014.
Callum has played as a soloist with the London Philharmonic orchestra, as well as appearing in Steven Spielberg’s film Warhorse as the piper. In 2014 he won ‘Le Son Continu’ solo piping competition and returned in 2015 to win the ‘Petite Formation prize’ with his band the Savage Prunes.
Matthias Branschke plays bagpipes with half closed fingering for 20 years. His groovy play is delicate and full of expression.
He’s currently playing with T.K.P. (duo with the violinist Vivien Zeller), Sunday Jam (trio with Vivien Zeller and harpist Merit Zloch), Solid Ghost (duo with Merit Zloch) and Duo Branschke/Armstrong (together with Callum Armstrong).
He was member of Kwart and with them won the World Music Award of TFF Rudolstadt in 2010. Together with his brother he won the Youth folk musicians award of TFF Rudolstadt in 2001.
Matthias Branschke took classical education for flute for 10 years.
Searching for the “perfect bagpipe” Matthias Branschke decided to become an instrument maker. Since 2010 – besides his musical activities – he runs his own bagpipe making workshop in Berlin (www.dudelsackmanufaktur.de).