It’s been a while since Australian audiences have heard their mellifluous music, but the American Brass Quintet is back.

After four decades, the American Brass Quintet has returned to Australian shores. Considered by many to be the world’s ‘high priests of brass’, the ensemble will tour the country as part of Musica Viva’s International Concert Series.

When the American Brass Quintet gave its first public performance in 1960, brass chamber music was still a novelty in the concert hall. The quintet joined with other well-known groups like Canadian Brass, Empire Brass and the New York Brass Quintet, in a concerted effort to push the genre from niche to mainstream. Nearly 60 years later, the perceived abilities and reception of the brass quintet has shifted dramatically.

“In the early days, it really was a new art form; nobody knew what to play and how it was going to take shape,” said Kevin Cobb, American Brass Quintet trumpeter. “Most of the time audiences expected some entertainment with a sort of a show value to it, but I think they’re coming in with a different preconception now. I suppose though that when people come to our concert, they’re going to experience something a...