Martin Kelly Obituary, Death – We mourn the demise of Martin Kelly, the former English National Opera sub-principal trombone. We lost a great musician and person on September 9. Martin Kelly’s wife, Julie, family, children, grandchildren, and many friends and coworkers mourn his departure. He was a beloved friend, mentor, and inspiration, not just a musician.
Martin made a lasting impact on music at the English National Opera for almost 30 years. His colleagues admired his smooth trombone playing, a testament to his expertise and dedication. Whether he was floating jazz licks in the high register during warm-ups, switching to a rich orchestral sound for a Wagner opera, or singing a beautiful phrase in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Martin was a musical virtuoso.
Martin began his music career aged 16 at the Royal Academy of Music. His alto trombone talent and exquisite pitch made him a musician from the outset. He worked with Paul Daniels and played summers in Blackpool orchestras after graduating. Before joining the English National Opera in 1988, he played in the orchestra for “Starlight Express”‘s lengthy West End run.
Martin Kelly was a great musician and mentor for low-brass guest players and aspiring players at ENO. His warm welcome and persistent support of emerging musicians was legendary. In addition to trombone, Martin’s powerful bass voice rivals visiting opera artists. He loved socializing and drinking pints of beer and lamb vindaloo with friends and coworkers outside the music hall. He was loved in music for his tenderness, generosity, and commitment.