Maurice Murphy was principal trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra for 30 years, from 1977 to 2007. It is his trumpet playing that you hear blazing over the orchestra in the first six Star Wars films in the iconic music of John Williams.
He grew up playing in brass bands in Yorkshire, and was Principal Cornet of the world-famous Black Dyke Mills Band from 1956 to 1961 and he played with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestras before coming to the LSO.
He played on many soundtracks, including Superman: The Movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Gangs of New York, Johnny English, Reign of Fire, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Philadelphia, Batman, the Alien movies, some of the James Bond movies, Frankenstein, Gladiator, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, We Were Soldiers and many more.
Denis Wick was his close colleague in the LSO and they worked together to bring out a stunning range of symphonic trumpet mouthpieces. Maurice himself used an MM2C. Maurice had a unique and instantly recognisable sound (listen to that opening top C in the opening fanfare of Star Wars!). These mouthpieces help capture that sound, with its mixture of warmth and richness together with a scintillating brilliance. This comes about from the generous contours of the cup and backbore together with the use of a customised Tottle backbore.
Maurice passed away in 2010 at the age of 75, but his trumpet playing will be legendary for ever.