Martin Kelly Obituary, Death – On the 9th of September, Martin Kelly, who had recently retired from his position as sub-principal trombone at the English National Opera, passed away. It is with great regret that we share this news with you. His wife, Julie, his family, children, and grandchildren, as well as the countless friends and colleagues who had the pleasure of performing and socializing with him, will miss him terribly. Martin spent more than 30 years working at ENO.
Everyone in the brass section who sat next to him during performances remarked on how uncomplicated he made playing look and sound. He could play jazz licks in the high register while he was warming up, then flip to a broad orchestral sound for a Wagner opera. However, the musical moment that brought him the most joy was probably when he was playing a wonderful phrase from Mozart’s The Magic Flute.
He began his musical education at the young age of 16 when he was accepted into the Royal Academy of Music. He was a specialist on the alto trombone, and he had perfect pitch. He was destined for a long and successful career in music. After receiving his degree, he began his career by playing in orchestras during the summer seasons in Blackpool. After that, he returned to London for a variety of gigs, some of which featured memorable performances with Paul Daniels.
After playing in the orchestra for a number of performances of Starlight Express on the West End, he joined ENO in the year 1988. There, he was recognized for being welcoming and encouraging to young players just beginning their careers. He was also quite helpful to seasoned guest players, as well as those in the ENO low-brass sector. He provided a lot of support to both of these groups.
He possessed a low, bass vocal range that was superior to the depths that the visiting opera soloists could reach. In his previous life, he was a landlord, and he used to enjoy nothing more than sharing a lamb vindaloo and a pint of beer with his friends and coworkers. Martin was known for his gentle nature, generosity, and steadfast friendship. RIP.