Zinc & Copper was founded by Robin Hayward in 2005. A trio of horn, trombone and tuba forms the basis for a variable ensemble of brass instruments, distinguished by its innovative and pioneering approach.

The development of microtonal valve systems enables unprecedented exploration of tuning systems on brass instruments, connecting both to western experimental music traditions and non-western traditions such as Maqam. Using distorted embouchure and experimental valve techniques, the instruments may be transformed into acoustic noise generators. Half-valve and muting techniques allow for an acoustic filtering of the tone, opening up a wide colour spectrum.

In the time of Giovanni Gabrieli, long before modern valved brass instruments were invented, the brass ensemble had equal standing to other chamber music ensembles. By researching alternative approaches towards playing, Zinc & Copper is exploring the potential of the medium in the 21st century.


Robin Hayward (microtonal tuba)

The tuba player and composer Robin Hayward, born in Brighton, England in 1969, has been based in Berlin since 1998. He has introduced radical playing techniques to brass instruments, initially through the discovery of the 'noise-valve', and later through the development of the first fully microtonal tuba in 2009. In 2012 he invented the Hayward Tuning Vine, partly as a visualization of the harmonic space implicit within the microtonal tuba. In 2005 he founded the ensemble Zinc & Copper to explore brass chamber music from an experimental music perspective.

Hilary Jeffery (trombone) 
Hilary's principal teacher and mentor for trombone playing is James Fulkerson, with whom he studied between 1998 and 2000. Hilary’s trombone playing encompasses improvised and notated music. In 2013 he started to study Dhrupad with Amelia Cuni, with the aim of applying techniques of this Indian classical music tradition to the trombone. As a trombonist Hilary Jeffery has a direct and intuitive knowledge of playing in just intonation, based on the physical properties of his instrument. In recent years he has explored this area more consciously through his work with zeitkratzer, CC Hennix, Zinc and Copper and Tonaliens.

Elena Margarita Kakaliagou (horn)

Elena Margarita Kakaliagou is a Greek-Austrian french horn player and performer, currently based in Berlin. After studying in Athens/GR with Vangelis Skouras, KUG-Graz/AT with Hector McDonald and Sibelius Academy/FI with Erja Joukamo-Ampuja and receiving scholarships from Klangforum, Impuls and Ensemble Modern with teachers like Mike Svoboda and Bill Formann, she now specializes in contemporary music. Her main focuses are free improvisation and contemporary music, as well as classical chamber and orchestral music. Elena has performed premieres and classical repertoire as a soloist and member of Ensembles including Ensemble Linea, Unitedberlin, KNM Berlin, in Festivals like Ultraschall Berlin/DE, Maerz Music/DE, Randspiele/DE, Musica Nova/FI, Lá-bas/FI, Musica/FR, Warsaw Autumn/PL, New Adits/AT among others. Some of the artists she has worked with are Simon Steen-Andersen, Riikka Innanen, Samuel Stoll, James Andean, Ingrid Schmoliner, Katharina Klement, Catherine Christel Hennix, Robin Hayward, Thomas Noll and others.


Amir AlSaffar (trumpet)
Ella Vala Armannsdottir (horn)
Matthias Müller (trombone)
Paul Schwingenschlögl (flugelhorn)
Paul Hübner (trumpet)
Colin Hacklander (percussion)