Callum Au is a British composer, arranger, orchestrator, and trombonist. He writes music across a wide range of genres, with a particular passion for big band and large jazz ensemble music. He is highly regarded for his stylistic awareness and versatility, and has worked with some of the world’s biggest artists.
Born in London to a Scottish mother and a Chinese father, Callum spent most of his formative years in Blackpool before moving to London, where he now lives and works.
Arranger and Orchestrator
Over the past ten years, Callum has established himself as one of the busiest arrangers and orchestrators in the country. He has had the privilege of writing music for many international artists, including Quincy Jones, Jamie Cullum, Randy Brecker, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2019, he was commissioned to arrange the big band numbers in the Hollywood movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Cats’.
A fascination with the classic arrangements of Billy May and Nelson Riddle has seen him transcribe several hundred classic big band vocal charts of the ‘50s and ‘60s. These charts have been sung by many of the world’s finest jazz singers, including Matthew Ford, Clare Teal and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
As well as being a busy writer, Callum has been a member of the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra since 2012, one of the UK’s premier large jazz ensembles, with a performance schedule to match. He has also composed or arranged a substantial proportion of the band’s current working repertoire.
Callum has performed alongside top jazz stars including Curtis Stigers, Seth MacFarlane, Maria Schneider, and at venues including the Cheltenham Festival, the Royal Albert Hall, and Buckingham Palace. He has worked with most of the top big bands and jazz ensembles in the UK, for multiple West End musicals, at the BBC Proms, and as a session musician on many recordings for film and TV.
When he’s not busy arranging and composing music for fellow artists, the various ensembles that he directs and plays in are Callum’s primary creative outlets.
Callum Au is an extraordinarily gifted musician. His ability to write and arrange with such sensitivity and depth of emotion is breathtaking and his knowledge base is wide, sophisticated and deeply impressive. Callum understands and respects lyrics and always beautifully frames singers to let them shine. What a joy to work with him and to witness his star ascending.
Claire Martin, OBE
Songs And Stories
New Recording and Touring Project
Callum is very much looking forward to the launch of his upcoming album, ‘Songs and Stories’ starring renowned British jazz vocalist Claire Martin with 70-piece orchestra plus special guests. The album was recorded at Air Studios in March 2019 with a hand-picked selection of some of Britain’s top musicians, and will be released in Spring 2020.
In 2015, in a relatively inauspicious green room at the Apex Theatre in Bury St Edmunds, Callum started working on an arrangement of the Disney song ‘Let it Go’ with high note trumpet superstar Louis Dowdeswell. This began an incredibly fruitful collaboration that ultimately resulted in Louis’ 2018 album ‘High Score’. Since then, Callum’s arrangements have amassed over 8 million views on Louis’ YouTube channel, and Callum and Louis have set up Stadium Studios in London, where they continue to work together on various creative projects.